Microsoft starts rolling out new MSN homepage

Last November, Neowin reported that Microsoft was testing a new design for their MSN homepage. Today, Ars Technica makes known that Microsoft has finally begun rolling it out to users. The roll out will gradually make its way to 100 million US customers over the next few weeks. Microsoft is calling it the "most significant homepage redesign in over a decade." The redesign features a new butterfly logo as well as 30 updates based on loads of customer feedback.

Among the new features are:

  • TrendWatch - highlights of the day's top Twitter trends
  • Hyper-local Tweets - shows you tweets based on your location
  • My Cities - lets you save up to three cities to keep up with
  • MSN Local - enables the display of relevant local information
  • Hotmail - see your inbox on the MSN homepage

As a whole, the new site boasts tighter social networking integration. Facebook, Twitter, and Windows Live "What's New" are all part of the new experience. Microsoft says that testers of the new site were very happy with the social network additions and they have received very positive feedback.

If you aren't seeing the new design yet, you can still preview it here. The site explains the changes and shows off the new visual experience. There's even a video of The Office's Brian Baumgartner showing off the new site. As you'd expect, he's awesome.

New MSN Homepage

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48 Comments

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The more I look into this the more I like it... I must say the integration is awesome it looks as though they got a bunch of MSN EU and asked them a series of questions and then added them to the website and messenger. looking forwards to the release.

I really hated it at first, but I'm warming up to it. MSN.com was my home page back when I had dial-up with MSN (around 2001ish) and there's something comforting about it being the first thing I see when I click on Firefox. I don't even really use MSN, but it's as familiar as seeing the sun rise in the morning.

Wow that's horrible. I like the msn.ca design so much better and it was only just released in the last couple months.

Kreuger said,
Wow that's horrible. I like the msn.ca design so much better and it was only just released in the last couple months.

Looks like a glorified version of what current one.

Looks good. I like the clean design (Though I do still think they could cut down on clutter a bit more)... It's a nice redesign...

Xenomorph said,
Maybe once it becomes "MSN, presented by GOOGLE", I will use it.

Because Google are the only people who can make a decent website right?

Xenomorph said,
Maybe once it becomes "MSN, presented by GOOGLE", I will use it.


Actually, comparing the redesigns of MSN and Google News, Google's test offering got a significant amount of criticism for being a huge step back, whereas the majority opinion of the MSN redesign seems pretty positive.

/still prefer Google News over Bing News, though, for now

Edited by Joshie, Mar 10 2010, 2:02am :

I remember using My MSN as my homepage a few years ago. I like the new designed. I'm not sure if I'll use the site, but it looks nice.

Wow, now that is a portal that i could use as a homepage. Nice touch, MS.
(now, why did it take so long for the big guys... goog, yhoo, msft et al to make a useful but nice looking portal?)

Can't wait for it to be available in the NE.

Honestly don't understand why people use MSN at all. Just seems like Microsoft doing their usual work and trying to get a share of every bloody market.

Ibutsu said,
Honestly don't understand why people use MSN at all. Just seems like Microsoft doing their usual work and trying to get a share of every bloody market.

The only *MSN* Service I use is now Windows Live messenger, and i use Adium or Pidgin not the official client to access it.

Ibutsu said,
Honestly don't understand why people use MSN at all. Just seems like Microsoft doing their usual work and trying to get a share of every bloody market.
You know how long the MSN home page has been around, right? At least since 1998: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MSN#MSN.com

Edited by Kirkburn, Mar 9 2010, 7:11pm :

Ibutsu said,
trying to get a share of every bloody market.

Most content on MSN is aggregated/syndicated so I don't see what they are doing that is any different than Yahoo & Google portal pages. People have different tastes. All MSN is trying to be is an editorialized version of Bing. Myself I tend to interact with Bing directly.

littleneutrino said,

The only *MSN* Service I use is now Windows Live messenger, and i use Adium or Pidgin not the official client to access it.

Its not my homepage but I use it everyday. And its not just Microsoft but everyone tries to get a share of the "bloody market". Btw the new design looks awesome.

Ibutsu said,
Honestly don't understand why people use MSN at all. Just seems like Microsoft doing their usual work and trying to get a share of every bloody market.

Yeah, MSN has been around for years. They should just give up and shut down for no reason other than someone's comment on Neowin.

What is with people thinking Microsoft should abandon all these markets? Competition is good, remember? It's a free market. Let the consumer decide.

Ibutsu said,
Honestly don't understand why people use MSN at all. Just seems like Microsoft doing their usual work and trying to get a share of every bloody market.

Speaking as someone who has used about:blank for a home page since the 90s, I have no use for sites like this, but...

MSN is one of the few sites that can actually claim some history behind having a web portal. The 'web portal' is pretty much all that remains of the era of Online Services (before we had the 'ISP'), which is why AOL/CompuServe became web portals, Prodigy became a web portal, and MSN (originally an online service shipping with Windows 95) followed suit.

OLSs and search engines are pretty much what it means to be a web portal, aside from our own personal tastes for what we want to see when we first launch our browsers. So MSN isn't exactly butting into a market here. More like they're one of its founding members.

/GOD what I'd give to go back and relive classic Prodigy though
//Square Off! Thinker! NOVA! MadMaze!

littleneutrino said,

The only *MSN* Service I use is now Windows Live messenger, and i use Adium
or Pidgin not the official client to access it.


Even though Microsoft's instant messaging application officially stopped being an MSN
branded product at the end of 2005, it annoys me that most people call it MSN.


Someone asked me recently "How do I get MSN?" so I told them to go to msn.com.

Edited by DJGM, Mar 10 2010, 12:37am :

C_Guy said,

Yeah, MSN has been around for years. They should just give up and shut down for no reason other than someone's comment on Neowin.

What is with people thinking Microsoft should abandon all these markets? Competition is good, remember? It's a free market. Let the consumer decide.

I agree. +1... Every time Microsoft is brought up (And it doesn't matter what we're talking about), there are calls for them to just abandon the market... LOL I don't get it...

DJGM said,

Even though Microsoft's instant messaging application officially stopped being an MSN
branded product at the end of 2005, it annoys me that most people call it MSN.


Someone asked me recently "How do I get MSN?" so I told them to go to msn.com.

Didn't think it really mattered that much... to me it always has been, and always will be, MSN. It's just so much easier to say than "Windows Live Messenger".

Simon said,

Didn't think it really mattered that much... to me it always has been, and always
will be, MSN. It's just so much easier to say than "Windows Live Messenger".


For as long as you continue to think that way about MSN, you'll continue to be wrong.


Microsoft's Messenger client hasn't been MSN anything for over four years now. If you
want to refer to it in a quick and snappy way, just say ... Messenger ... not MSN.

What people need to realise is that MSN is ONLY a set of web content portal websites,
not an instant messaging program. Even when Messenger was MSN branded, to refer
to it as MSN even then was technically wrong, since there was still a subscription
based MSN online access service alongside the web content portal.

MSN is not Messenger ... Messenger is not MSN.

Edited by DJGM, Mar 10 2010, 1:36am :

C_Guy said,

Yeah, MSN has been around for years. They should just give up and shut down for no reason other than someone's comment on Neowin.

What is with people thinking Microsoft should abandon all these markets? Competition is good, remember? It's a free market. Let the consumer decide.

Let me quote you on that and use it for another argument...

DJGM said,

For as long as you continue to think that way about MSN, you'll continue to be wrong.


Microsoft's Messenger client hasn't been MSN anything for over four years now. If you
want to refer to it in a quick and snappy way, just say ... Messenger ... not MSN.

What people need to realise is that MSN is ONLY a set of web content portal websites,
not an instant messaging program. Even when Messenger was MSN branded, to refer
to it as MSN even then was technically wrong, since there was still a subscription
based MSN online access service alongside the web content portal.

MSN is not Messenger ... Messenger is not MSN.

Whoa buddy. Take a deep breath. Step outside and see the world.

No need to be the brand police... It really isn't that serious.

"Windows Live Messenger" will always be known in common usage as MSN. It gained its brand footing under the MSN Messenger name and it will carry that on forever. Companies rebrand all the time, but they can't forcibly change people's memories or habits.

Frazell Thomas said,
"Windows Live Messenger" will always be known in common usage as MSN. It gained its brand footing under the MSN Messenger name and it will carry that on forever. Companies rebrand all the time, but they can't forcibly change people's memories or habits.
I for one have found it difficult to stop referring to it as MSN.

Edited by Kirkburn, Mar 11 2010, 2:50am :

DJGM said,

Even though Microsoft's instant messaging application officially stopped being an MSN
branded product at the end of 2005, it annoys me that most people call it MSN.


Someone asked me recently "How do I get MSN?" so I told them to go to msn.com.


It annoys me too. I tend to use WLM instead.

daniel_rh said,
Sometimes loads the new one and sometimes the old one...

Go to preview.msn.com if you want the new one to load permanently

daniel_rh said,
Sometimes loads the new one and sometimes the old one...

That will depend on your web browser.
At least it happens with me.