Microsoft has announced a radical refresh of MSN, one of the most popular media destinations on the Internet, with the launch of Windows 8 and Internet Explorer 10. Microsoft’s flagship website gets about 480 million visitors per month worldwide and is one of the biggest portals on the Internet. The new version is built from the ground up to harness the capabilities that Windows 8 and IE10 offer and built for touch.
The new MSN is a full-screen experience and the user experience is clean and intuitive. Because Internet Explorer 10 was designed to take advantage of the system architecture of Windows 8, Microsoft promises blazing fast speed along with the consistent visual layout providing instant access to the information you want.
Microsoft also intends to establish itself as a small media operation creating its own content. While MSN would aggregate news from premier sources like Reuters and Associated Press, it has been building up a news team on its own. Microsoft sold its 50% stake in news website MSNBC.com in July to NBCUniversal, and hence would focus all the capabilities in content creation and aggregation here.
The updated site would be available from October 26, the official launch date of Windows 8. Here are a few expectations that I’d have from the rollout:
- The design is rolled out to all MSN sites globally simultaneously. Several worldwide MSN sites are slow to adapt a design update.
- The design is consistent across all sections and sub-sites. Even after the last design refresh, few sections of MSN continue to live with the older design.
- While Reuters and Associated Press are as good as news sources can get, I’d like to see more content partnerships for lifestyle and other channels; something like MSN Health.