MSN might still be a messenger service for a lot of people, but Microsoft is trying to move the brand away from the 1995 online service and into a new era of news and social aggregation, in a new bid to keep the brand alive.
The re-branding of MSN looks to change the website and bring it over to Android and iOS. The preview is live for the desktop website, showing some of the changes in store. The new MSN feels like a Windows 8 re-brand, with app tiles on the top and a generic news front-page displaying all of the content.
Microsoft will bring news from over 1,000 reputable sources, according to the blog post. These sources will be in all different languages as well, pushing out MSN to Japanese, French, Indian and Brazilian audiences, alongside others.
Users will be able to customise the feed, similar to Flipboard and other news aggregation services. In the settings, users can specify a certain topic, like Game of Thrones, English Premier League Football or Ubisoft video games, to get a personal feed.
The app tiles show some of Microsoft’s key apps, like Office, OneDrive, Maps, Outlook and Skype, alongside other apps like Facebook and Twitter. The Bing! search bar is on the top of the webpage, allowing people to easily search the web.
425 million people use MSN, according to Microsoft. This might be all people who have downloaded the home-page on Internet Explorer and not based on active users, but it is still a large number and one Microsoft can work with in the revamp.
The aggregation of everything, from the Bing! search bar, tiled apps and news content, reminds us a bit of Yahoo! Unlike Yahoo!, Microsoft is able to push out all of their first party apps and make the interface look fresh and clean, not clunky and full of everything.