Two MSN revamp concepts are currently under testing. One version, that is being tested in France shows fewer channels, more video, and a direct connection to a user's Hotmail in-box. Another version, being tested in Brazil shows a more radical overhaul that has social media bar that users can use to share video with their social circle. As part of the revamp, Microsoft is looking to add a limited amount of personalization as well as more social media features.
The MSN portal, which is the default home page for Internet Explorer, has been responsible for about half of Microsoft's Internet search traffic. The company says its research shows that 37 percent of Internet users still rely on a portal as an important source of information. "It's not for everyone, but for a good chunk of the market, it's a way people can make sense of the Internet," MSN Vice President Erik Jorgensen said in an interview.
In terms of having stronger ties with Bing, Microsoft has been playing around with different search box designs to see which one lead to the most queries, and by posting features on the site that tie in to Bing's search engine. Bing has managed to pick up market share, and is now number 2 in search after Google. Microsoft is also hoping that deals with HP and Dell will convince more people to use Bing.
Microsoft is looking to launch the revamp of it's MSN portal site in the fall.
MSN France, image provided by CNET
MSN Brazil, image provided by CNET