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Wednesday, November 04, 2009
Microsoft Redesigns MSN, Adds Access to Facebook and Twitter

Microsoft today unveiled a preview of its new design for the popular MSN home page, which offers easy access to Bing search and favorite social networks.

The new home page provides quick access to Bing search, favorite social networks, more relevant local information, and the latest news and entertainment information ? all in one location.

"More than half of people online start their sessions on sites like MSN and they told us they want simplicity ? yet still want the latest information and their favorite services delivered together," said Lisa Gurry, senior director, MSN. "With our large audience and sophisticated technology, we were able to gather a tremendous amount of customer feedback to ensure we delivered the online experience customers are really craving."

The new home page has 50 percent fewer links, and is focused on providing access to the information and services people care about most. It is designed for simpler navigation across the top five information areas for customers: entertainment, news, sports, lifestyle and finance. Premium content is supplied through Microsoft's partnerships with MSNBC, FOX Sports, Hearst, Rodale, Meredith, Mayo Clinic and more, as well as bloggers and social media sites.

The new MSN home page also offers a deeper search experience through powerful integration with Bing, helping people make faster and more informed decisions and easily find the information they want from anywhere on the Web. Bing is deeply integrated as the core search service throughout the home page, via key areas such as shopping, travel and local, and as a way of highlighting hot topics, trends or people.

Convenient access to social networks, such as Facebook and Twitter, is also available from the new home page, eliminating the need for people to jump from one site to another to update their status or see what their friends are up to.

The new MSN home page also incorporates local information, offering more real-time community news than any other home page. Included is a new offering, MSN Local Edition, which provides the latest information on local weather, news, sports, entertainment and dining, and traffic and events, grouped by ZIP code.

The new home page offers inline high-quality streaming video, employing Silverlight technology, from more than 300 sources including Hulu, National Geographic and FOX Entertainment Group.

The refreshed is rolling out to a small percentage of U.S. users on Wednesday but won't appear for everyone until early 2010.

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