The Money Central site, available now as a preview site, combines financial resources from Microsoft's Investor site, news from MSNBC, mortgage data from its HomeAdvisor site and links to the company's personal finance software, Microsoft Money.
Microsoft (Nasdaq:MSFT) officials declined comment. But sources portrayed the move as part of the company's continuing effort to consolidate its Web portal presence.
The site will also include a section that links to financial institutions. Through its Money product, Microsoft has beefed up ways for consumers to do their banking online.
The site is apart of a broader effort Microsoft has been undertaking to launch MSN as a portal. The company has been releasing redesigned versions of many of its online properties in recent days, including a new look for its search site Thursday.
"There are dual purposes. One is to serve as a comprehensive finance channel for their portal play," said Nicole Vanderbilt, an analyst with Jupiter Communications in New York. "But the ability to provide comprehensive financial information to a consumer is important, particularly when MoneyCentral's biggest competitors will be Quicken.com."
Intuit Inc.'s (Nasdaq:INTU) Quicken dominates Microsoft in the personal finance market, and its Quicken.com Web site offers a similar broad array of financial services and information.