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MSN India says ‘Namaste’, launches five regional language portals

22-September-2006
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MSN India says ‘Namaste’, launches five regional language portals

After revamping the MSN India homepage and launching Windows Live Domains, the online major from Microsoft has launched language portals and Windows Live Messenger in five Indian languages.

Touted as part of its sixth anniversary celebrations in India, the new portals are MSN Hindi, MSN Tamil, MSN Telugu, MSN Kannada and MSN Malayalam. The incorporation of these languages in Windows Live Messenger will enable MSN users to chat in their regional languages. Users can download the regional language packages at www.bhashaindia.com.

“India will be the third largest Internet market by 2010 with 110 million users, growing at 54 per cent annually. But most of the content in India is in English, though only 70 million people can read and write in English in India. Therefore, we are trying to reach the unreached through our new language portals,” said Jaspreet Bindra, MSN India Country Manager.

“We have been beta testing the regional portals for the last three months. All of them will lay emphasis on local news. Each has separate editorial teams at Bangalore. We have also tied up with freelancers and columnists, though major chunk of the stories will be outsourced from third parties and agencies. Going ahead, we will also focus on user generated content on these regional language portals,” said Krishna Prasad, Head of Programming, MSN India.

Drawing a parallel with the television industry, Rajnish, Head of Digital Marketing Revenue and Strategic Business, MSN India, said, “The share of viewership in regional channels is 36 per cent, whereas the revenue share is only 24 per cent. However, things are changing fast. We hope the same will happen to advertisement in regional content portals.”

Also see:

MSN launches new products and services to attract Indian audience

http://www.exchange4media.com/e4m/izone1/izone_fullstory.asp?section_id=4&news_id=22813&tag=17540&pict=14

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