The New and Improved MSN
MSN received a much needed makeover in September. 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 like the famous people’s diaries that help you do more. Built around the premise 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
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 UAE, Microsoft has partnered with seven local content partners, including Sky News Arabia, CNN Arabic, Fatafeat, Eva Rihani, ITP, 7Awi and Drive Arabia, to bring you national and local coverage. Get a glimpse of the new Homepage below…
Inside the Microsoft MENA Office
Before the launch of the new MSN, I was invited to attend a small focus group of bloggers for a preview. We met with local Microsoft executives, experienced the BETA version of the site and provided feedback first hand. Here’s what I loved about the new MSN off top…
- There will be two sites: one English and the other Arabic. Then, there will be regional roll outs, i.e. Saudi Arabia, UAE, etc. This allows for accessing content specific to your interests and region.
- Microsoft will be replicating the online experience for mobile with roll outs to iOS and Android
- Me Bar is one of my favorite features. It integrates Microsoft services into the online experience.
- Today Stripe is another one of my favorites. It brings to you a collection of content in real time that is curated by real people.
- Microsoft has plans to also integrate social platforms and Skype to make them accessible and easy to use through the MSN site.
Attention has been given to both design and content. The content areas have been broadened and the new MSN takes on a responsive design. It’s designed with “stripes” that can be moved around to render content different based on the user. Even better, the design customizations that you make on one platform are carried over to the other. For example, if you change your stripes in the web browser, the changes apply when you access the site from your mobile. You’ll also notice another change…there’s no mention of Bing. While Bing algorithms still powers a lot of the experience, Microsoft wanted to integrate all services under a single moniker for better brand recognition.
I couldn’t possibly visit the Microsoft MENA office without browsing the showroom. Here’s your sneak peek inside the colorful, well appointed space…