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Microsoft starts rolling out revamped MSN home page

Last fall, Microsoft showed off a preview of a more social-network-friendly version of the MSN home page. Starting March 9, the company will begin rolling out that home page to its U.S. audience of 100 million.
Written by Mary Jo Foley, Senior Contributing Editor on

Last fall, Microsoft showed off a preview of a more social-network-friendly version of the MSN home page. Starting March 9, the company will begin rolling out that home page to its U.S. audience.

Over the next few weeks, Microsoft will move from 10 percent to 100 percent availability for its more than 100 million MSN home page viewers, company officials said today. While the page looks similar to the preview Microsoft debuted in November, it has tweaked it a bit, "following 70,000 pieces of customer feedback."

(I've asked when MSN.com viewers outside the U.S. will see the new home page. I'll update once I receive word back.) Update: Here's the answer, via a spokesperson:

"The new MSN homepage is only available in the U.S. at this time, but many markets have recently launched new, innovative homepages. MSN continues to invest in tools that enable the markets to share best practices, templates, content and ideas to ensure we’re taking advantage of our global investment."

(I think that means there won't be a parallel launch of similarly revamped, social-network-centric MSN.com pages in other countries... But I might be wrong.)

Microsoft has described the revamped page as the most sweeping face-lift the MSN.com site has had in close to a decade. Microsoft's goals for the page included making it less cluttered, easier to navigate and  faster to load. The new page has fewer of the lists of  “blue links” that dominate the current MSN.com page. Microsoft’s Bing search technology is deeply integrated into the new design.

Some of the new features that will be incorporated into the updated page include:

  • TrendWatch – Highlights the day’s top trends and movers on Twitter
  • Hyper-local Tweets – Uses Bing to  highlight tweets from your location
  • My Cities – Personalize MSN Local Edition and save up to three cities to follow

Here's a preview of the new MSN home page.

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