Five years ago: MSN reads news, plans travel booking, London guide

Microsoft Network (MSN) is stepping up its UK activity by kicking off a news service tomorrow and plans to follow up with online travel booking and a London listings city guide

First published 24 March, 1997

Dubbed MSN News, the news service will initially concentrate on the general election but will grow to cover all areas that are currently the domain of newspapers in the UK. A core staff of nine ex-Fleet Street and broadcast reporters will provide 24-hour coverage.

"It won't just be putting up yesterday's print news," said Taylor Collyer, MSN marketing director. "It will use all the advantages of the Internet including animations, video, sound, reader polls and reader contributions."

Inside two months, Microsoft plans to release a local version of the Expedia online travel booking service that is already pulling in over $1 million per week in the US, according to MSN's Collyer.

Later in the year, the London Sidewalk online city guide will be launched. London is the only British city pencilled in for the Sidewalk treatment.

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