Microsoft girds for battle of the Net

Microsoft on Monday said it has revamped its MSN Internet offerings to include features such as real-time traffic and travel alerts as the software giant goes head-to-head with rival AOL Time Warner.

Apart from the new package, called MSN 7, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer and MSN chief Yusuf Mehdi are expected to make an announcement regarding MSN and high-speed Internet connections.

"I think actually we have really, really nailed this version, compared to our competitors," MSN product manager Lisa Gurry said.

Since MSN encompasses a range of products and services, from Internet access to instant messaging to the MSN.com portal, there are many changes, which will go into effect October 25, Gurry said. MSN.com will get a face-lift and a boost that will make it run 30 percent faster. There also will be more content, such as news clips, music videos and even 3D house tours aimed at broadband users.

MSN Explorer--essentially a custom browser with bright, cartoonish controls, built-in links to Microsoft services, and an integrated digital media player--will feature easier setup, a more organised look, and new sections for games and horoscopes.

News source: ZDnet Australia

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