New MSN Designed to Be the Best Home Page on the Web

REDMOND, Wash. — Nov. 3, 2009 — Microsoft Corp. today unveiled a preview of its most significant home page redesign in over a decade. The new MSN home page is designed to be the best home page on the Web, with powerful Bing search, the top news and hottest entertainment, and some of the most popular social networks — all in a fresh new look. The new home page will deliver comprehensive local information from the new MSN local information offering, MSN Local Edition, also unveiled today. Beginning today, anyone can preview the new home page at http://preview.msn.com. The new home page will begin rolling out today and become widely available to U.S. customers early next year.

Ninety percent of people surveyed find home pages such as MSN to be valuable, and they like the convenience of a comprehensive site.* Nearly 100 million people in the U.S. visit MSN every single month, and MSN added over 10 million new customers in the last year alone. However, today’s sites often fall short of top customer needs and many haven’t kept up with evolving trends. Extensive customer research highlights that people want less clutter and easier access to information and services they care about, including search services that help them make decisions easier and faster.

“Now is the time to clean up the mess on the Web — people need less clutter and less hassle to find what matters most to them,” said Erik Jorgensen, corporate vice president, Microsoft. “Microsoft is uniquely invested in search, media experiences and technical innovation. Combining these assets to deliver our new MSN home page is a tremendous win for customers and advertisers.”

The clean, new MSN home page cuts through the clutter with 50 percent fewer links than the previous home page and a simplified navigation across news, entertainment, sports, money and lifestyle. The new MSN home page also embraces the latest customer trends by deeply integrating powerful search from Bing and providing easy access to Facebook, Twitter and Windows Live services, comprehensive local information and in-line video. Sophisticated technology powers the home page to deliver personally relevant information, and improved performance satisfies people’s need for speed.

New key features of the MSN home page include these:

  • Innovative search technology from Bing. Deeper Bing integration on the new home page helps 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.

  • Information and news people care about. The new home page delivers against the No. 1 customer request — simplicity and ease of use — through its fresh design and smart categorization. In-line high-quality, top news and hot entertainment from trustworthy sources such as MSNBC, FOX Sports, Hulu and Hearst, and comprehensive local information provide a compelling one-stop shop for people to use as their home base online. More in-depth local information is offered on the new MSN Local Edition, which is the only local online source that smartly combines media with Bing search and provides access to real-time community news that is grouped by ZIP code.

  • Convenient ways to communicate. Simplicity drove the clean integration of popular social networks, such as Facebook, Twitter and Windows Live “What’s New,” which aggregates up to 50 Web activities, including Yelp, Flickr, Pandora and more, onto the MSN home page. People no longer have to jump from site to site to update their status, tweets or see what their friends are up to; the new home page makes it easy to view and update in-line.

“Customers told us they want the latest information from their favorite sources, their friends and the breadth of the Web — and the new MSN home page delivers via a fresh new look and new features,” Jorgensen said. “Today is an important transformation for MSN, and it’s just the beginning.”

More Information

More information about the new MSN home page is available on the MSN Blog at http://msnblog.msn.com. B-roll is available at http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/newsroom/msn/videos.mspx.

About MSN and Windows Live

Overall, MSN, Windows Live and Microsoft.com attract more than 575 million unique users worldwide per month. With localized versions available globally in 46 markets and 21 languages, MSN is a world leader in delivering Web services to consumers and online advertising opportunities to businesses worldwide.

About Microsoft

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.

* Microsoft internal research 2008

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