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Microsoft gets 'uber-personal' in its new avatar

09-September-2014
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Microsoft gets 'uber-personal' in its new avatar

The impact of new leadership at Microsoft is beginning to show. Despite rumours of its online portal shutting down, the brand has given the site its biggest makeover yet. The results of its strategic efforts are showing for the company with the redesigned MSN.com, which is open for preview.

Microsoft, on Monday, unveiled the first look of the new MSN in India. 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 netizens 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 and will soon be available across all major device platforms, including Windows, iOS and Android.

Untapped potential

Rather than being an entry point for accessing the rest of the Internet, the revamped MSN is aiming to become a daily part of life for its 400 million monthly users worldwide.

“At present, we have 13 million unique views per month on MSN India. We are looking at the 75 million smartphone users as an opportunity to grow in the country, and creating empowered consumers,” said Sanjay Trehan, Head, MSN and Bing Apps India, Microsoft Corporation.

“We are now into content curation and have partnered with top local content providers from India for the new MSN including Hindustan Times, NDTV, India Today, Indian Express and Network 18. Microsoft has re-written 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,” he added.

Adam Anger, General Manager for Asia Pacific, Microsoft Advertising, said, “With an audience of nearly 425 million people coming to over 57 markets around the world available across the three major device platforms, the new MSN presents an enormous opportunity for publishers. With over 50 per cent of people accessing content on dedicated apps, this release is in lockstep with where usage is happening.”

Uber personalisation

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 personalised settings to keep users in the know wherever they are.

“A key improvement will be an ability to sync across all devices. So if you are logged in and make a shopping list for a recipe on your desktop, it will automatically appear on the MSN app on your phone. Microsoft is aiming at ‘uber personalised’ content with its mobile-first service for the on-the-go consumer,” he said.

“The revamp puts great emphasis on services that turn MSN into more of a hub than a starting point. The top of the site centers on a "Services Stripe" that lets you hover over icons to check your Outlook email, Bing Maps or even take a quick glimpse at OneNote projects, if you use it,” explained Trehan. “You'll also find utilities like shopping lists, a symptom checker and a 3D body explorer. Moreover, a lot of your personalised content will sync across platforms. Microsoft plans to launch Android and iOS versions of previously Windows-only apps like Food and Drink and Sports -- if you add a recipe or a favorite football team on the MSN website, you'll also see it on your phone or tablet no matter what operating system you are accessing.”

Fineprint

Spanning multiple 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 statistics on over 200 global sports leagues, reviews of over 1.5 million bottles of wine, to over 3,00,000 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.

On the global front, MSN is partnering with some of the world’s best and most authoritative sources, including The New York Times in the US, Yomiuri Shimbun and Asahi Shimbun in Japan, The Guardian and The Telegraph in the UK, Le Figaro and Le Monde in France, and Lance and Estadão in Brazil, and many more.
 

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