MSN 8 to Bring New Features, Higher Prices

Thanks to ShOcKz1104 for posting this in the BPN section of the forums.

A new version of Microsoft's MSN Internet service will ship this fall, the company revealed this week, but may bring with it higher prices. And though the MSN 8 feature set will include "significant new value," a Microsoft representative declined to offer any specifics for now. One thing that is under consideration, however, is a higher monthly fee for its users.

MSN current has approximately 8 million customers, compared to 34 million for market leader AOL. But MSN has made strong gains in the past year thanks largely to its lower costs: A month of MSN Internet access currently costs $21.95, compared to AOL's fee of $23.90.

The inevitable MSN price hike isn't the only sign of cost cutting at Microsoft's Internet venture in recent days. The company began enforcing its file storage limits on Hotmail, its free email service, and dropping Hotmail customers that hadn't accessed their Inbox in over 30 days. Microsoft now offers additional Hotmail storage space for a yearly fee, a possible hint of .NET-oriented services to follow.

News source: Wininformant

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