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Microsoft has revamped its aging MSN news website, giving it not just a fresh coat of paint but also additional functions, linking it to other Microsoft services.

The core of what you’d expect from MSN is the same, the latest news, weather and headlines are presented up front but the most interesting thing is the aforementioned linked in functions.

If you sign into your Microsoft Account, you’ll be able to use Skype, see your recent Outlook emails, Office/OneDrive Documents or play songs via Xbox Music.

You’ll also be able to access your Twitter and Facebook notifications if you sign in to those services.

The overall idea is that you use the site as a kind of hub, setting it as your homepage and using it to catch up on all the news and your personal notifications etc.

In line with the change, Microsoft Mobile changed all of the Bing apps on Windows Phone to MSN, so instead of Bing Weather we now have MSN Weather, and so on.

A possible negative here is that the MSN name itself might not look great in the minds of some customers and may look old and remind them of the days of MSN Messenger, in a similar way to people claiming that Bing just isn’t a ‘cool’ name, but that remains to be seen.

The new homepage.

The new homepage.

You can read the full press release below:

The New MSN Arrives – Know more, Do more

1.1 million Irish users monthly can now personalize their experience on MSN

Following the release of the new look preview site just one month ago which saw almost 10 million visits, the highly anticipated new MSN website is now live to over 425M people in more than 50 countries worldwide.

Combining personal productivity tools like shopping lists, flight status and savings calculators with premium content from the world’s leading media outlets, the new site will reach over 1.1 million users monthly on MSN in Ireland alone.

Commenting today, Christian Jago-Byrne, Microsoft Advertising Country Manager in Ireland said: “The new MSN is built so users can do more, know more and personalise their experience, regardless of the device they use. It now integrates access to popular sites like, Facebook, Twitter and OneDrive, plus content from over 1,000 of the most well-trusted media outlets on the planet,”

World Class Content

Spanning 10 sections including sports, news, health & fitness, money, travel and video, the new MSN provides a global perspective from thousands of publishers across the world including the GAA, Independent News and Media and Muzu in Ireland and the New York Times and CNN, Conde Nast in the U.S., The Yomiuri Shimbun and The Asahi Shimbun in Japan, the Guardian and the Telegraph in the UK, NDTV and Hindustan Times in India, Le Figaro and Le Monde in France, and Lance and Estadão in Brazil, and many more.

Home Grown Talent Develops Sports Section

The global software development of the sports section was led by the Microsoft Ireland engineering team out of the Dublin based Microsoft European Development Centre.  The thirty six strong developer team worked on the project for nine months enabling the release into 54 markets and optimising across all platforms and operating systems.

Speaking about the role the Irish team played in the design of the new MSN unveiled today Jimmy Doyle, Principal Engineering Manager, Microsoft European Development Centre (EDC) said: “I was delighted for the team here in Ireland to be involved with this project, and to lead them through the design and implementation of this project. The Dublin based European Development Centre is a 400 person strong research, development and engineering organisation that is shaping the creation of technology, software and services that are being used by hundreds of millions of people around the world every single day. Many of our software products and services used by customers around the world start their life with the team here in Dublin.  This was an exciting project to work on and I’m looking forward to seeing it grow as a service.”

Personalisation and Integration

Information ranges from the latest stats on over 200 global sports leagues, reviews of over 1.5 million bottles of wine, to over 300,000 gorgeously photographed recipes and more. MSN’s expert editors are able to draw from the over 1,000 sources to hand-curate content for individual markets and cultures.

The integrated tools cover 10 categories letting you explore, plan, do, and track the activities you care about and the clean, fresh design makes it easy to find and enjoy content that interests you allowing you to reorder categories and interests, making the layout your own.

Luke Hoare Greene

1/4 Founder of TheEffect.Net

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