Microsoft yesterday hosted a media briefing session to showcase their new-look MSN site, with a host of new features to create the best Web experience for their users. The site will integrate with many content providers to provide the most up-to-date and useful content for users, which isn’t just limited to news and similar articles. The site will provide lifestyle and productivity tools such as health content that includes workout routines (along with demonstration videos), and a food and wine section, coupled with recipes of your choosing, and a link to your grocery list directly from the page itself. The aim here is creating an all-in-one content platform, which will be integrated and available on all your devices by means of an app or webpage. This means that an app will be available for Android, iOS and Windows Phone. Changing to keep up with the times in a world of cross-platform, cross-device integration is a good thing, and with the added benefits of a large variety of content makes a big difference. Unlike the likes of AltaVista, which faded into oblivion before being formally shutdown and serves as a good example for embracing change, Microsoft’s MSN refresh is a welcome change. You can preview the new features at http://preview.msn.com.
Microsoft Unveils First Look of New MSN in South Africa
MSN aims to deliver the world’s most popular and comprehensive content on the Web – with Bing app integration available on Windows Phone and available soon on both Android and IOS devises.
Microsoft yesterday unveiled a first look of the new MSN in South Africa. Designed from the ground up for a mobile, cloud first world, the new MSN combines premium content from the world’s leading media outlets with personal productivity tools that help you do more. Built around the insight that the knowledge and information that enriches your life should be accessible regardless of where you are or what device you are using, the new experience is available on the web with Bing app integration available on Windows Phone and available soon on both Android and IOS devises.
Starting today, we are inviting people around the globe to try out the new web experience at http://preview.msn.com.
“To make MSN relevant in a mobile-first, cloud-first world, we have gone back to basics and redesigned the platform with that in mind. The new MSN brings together the world’s best media sources along with data and services to enable users to do more,” said Justin Dewhirst, MEA Regional Director, Microsoft Information & Consumer Experiences. “The new MSN focuses on the primary digital daily habits in people’s lives, helping them complete tasks on the web and across all of their devices, roaming data and personalized settings to keep users in the know wherever they are.”
Most Popular and Complete Content
MSN is partnering with some of the world’s best and most authoritative sources, including the New York Times and Motor Trend 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.
In South Africa, Microsoft has partnered with some leading local content partners, including Primedia, Media24, MoneyWeb, eNCA, Mail & Guardian, Daily Maverick, PlanetSport, Kagiso Media and Creative Spark.
Spanning 10 sections including sports, news, health and fitness, money, travel and video, the new MSN provides a global perspective from thousands of publishers across the world. 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.
According to Ian Drummond, Digital Sales Manager at Mediamark, “The new look MSN is set to revolutionize the digital portal landscape. The new design has been created with the user in mind offering curated and aggregated content from over one thousand local and global content partners”.
Know More, Do More
The new MSN brings actionable information and the opportunity to act directly at the point where people are actively engaging, from personal productivity tools like shopping lists, flight status and savings calculators, to integrated access to popular sites like Outlook.com, Facebook, Twitter, OneNote, OneDrive, and soon Skype. At the top of the page, there is a personal stripe allowing you one click access to top services so you can stay on top of what’s happening in your life.
These integrated tools cover eight categories letting you explore, plan, do, and track the activities you care about. You can set up topics to follow about the news you care about. You can track “Game of Thrones spoilers” or “Wolves in Yellowstone” and MSN will stay on top of relevant articles. When you’re searching for recipes and find one that you want to prepare, in one click you can convert the ingredients into a shopping list which will roam from the web to the mobile apps so you have it when you need it in the grocery store not on the printer at work.
Personalized and Available Across Devices
A clean, fresh design makes it easy to find and enjoy content that interests you. You can organize categories and interests making the layout your own
The new MSN makes it simple to personalize what you want to see regardless of which device you use. In the coming months, we will release a suite of MSN apps across Windows Phone, iOS and Android. You only need to set your preferences once, and your favorite stuff will always be there. In the finance section for instance, when you setup your stock watch list (e.g. DIS) it will show up the same way on the corresponding apps and website. If you prefer to get your content from a specific source, you can set that as a preference (e.g. more stories from New York Times.)
And it works the same way if you set it up on your phone – so no matter where you start, you don’t have to set it up all over again, changes and updates work the same way. So setup your favorite cities for weather or pick your favorite sports teams and those things will be with you at your PC at work, on your Windows 8.1 tablet in the living room, or on your iPhone when you are on the go.
New Opportunities for Brands
For brands, MSN will continue to offer its loyal audience with a personalized web experience with the added benefit of the best-of-the-web publishers and the engagement of applications across all mobile operating systems. The new MSN is an ideal environment for seamless brand storytelling across devices.
“From an advertiser perspective Microsoft is taking online advertising to a new level by ensuring an uncluttered canvas for brands to connect with users. The premium content ensures relevancy while the industry first guaranteed view ensure limited wastage,” says Drummond.
Though the face of MSN has transformed, the process of buying ads is simple. Brands can still enjoy ease of purchasing through similar IAB standard units available on previous versions of MSN.
“With premium content and productivity tools, we’re thrilled to offer a new experience to both advertisers and consumers that help people do more,” said Mike Luscombe, “Our daily lives have become increasingly busy and with that comes more screens to interact with to make our days make sense. MSN streamlines this experience to the benefit of all people and allows advertisers to be in more moments and to capture consumers at the right mindset during the day.”