Microsoft has pledged to rebirth its Microsoft Network (MSN) brand, even as it prepares to bid a final farewell to instant messaging package MSN Messenger.
Launched as The Microsoft Network in 1995, MSN became the company's public face and its first major consumer brand. Initially, it would be lilttle more than a dial-up internet provider launched to support Windows 95 and its shiny new web capabilities. Over time, it would evolve into a web portal covering the company's range of consumer-oriented online services and products. In 2005, MSN's major features - Hotmail and Messenger - were stolen away and used to create the Windows Live feature, but Microsoft's surprise announcement means the platform is coming full circle once more.
Announced this weekend by Microsoft's Brian MacDonald, the 'new MSN
' is more than just a rebranding, however, with the company taking its existing Bing-branded software and porting it to third-party operating systems in a rare display of cross compatibility. 'In the coming months, we will release a suite of MSN apps across iOS and Android to complement our corresponding Windows and Windows Phone apps. You only need to set your favourites once, and your preferences will be connected across MSN, Cortana, Bing and other Microsoft experiences,
' MacDonald explained. 'Whether it is your watchlist of stocks in MSN Money, your favourite sports teams in MSN Sports, or your recipe collections in MSN Food & Drink, those things will always be with you at your PC at work, on your iPad in the living room, or on your Android phone when you are on the go.
The rebranding of the Bing packages to MSN is joined by a redesign for the web portal itself. 'We have rebuilt MSN from the ground up for a mobile-first, cloud-first world. The new MSN brings together the world’s best media sources along with data and services to enable users to do more in News, Sports, Money, Travel, Food & Drink, Health & Fitness, and more,
' MacDonald crowed. 'It focuses on the primary digital daily habits in people’s lives and helps them complete tasks across all of their devices. Information and personalized settings are roamed through the cloud to keep users in the know wherever they are.
You can read MacDonald's announcement in full at the official blog
, while the new-look MSN portal is live now at preview.msn.com