Microsoft’s new MSN site emphasises customisability

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KUALA LUMPUR: Microsoft Corp recently rolled out a revamped MSN web portal across 55 markets globally in a bid to seize higher market share. The move has also marked MSN’s transformation as an original content provider into a third-party content organiser.

The launch of the new MSN portal is deemed a major business milestone for Microsoft globally as the site, designed from the ground up for a mobile, cloud-first world, combines content from the world’s leading media outlets with personal productivity tools that help users do more.

“We used to have writers that produce content, but now we partner with content providers such as MediaCorp (MediaCorp Pte Ltd) to deliver content to our users,” Microsoft Asia-Pacific head of commercial Ken Chang (pic) told The Edge Financial Daily in an interview a day after the new MSN site officially went live to 437 million people in 57 countries on Sept 8.

“It is built around the insight that knowledge and information that enrich your life should be accessible regardless of where you are or what device you are using. The new experience is available on the web and will soon be available across all major device platforms, including Windows, iOS and Android,” the company had said in a media release on the day of the portal’s launch.

The site has 12 sections that feature weather, news, sports, money, health and fitness, food and drink, travel, auto, video, entertainment, and lifestyle. It is programmed to intelligently suggest content that is most relevant to a particular user based on his or her surfing or browsing data.

“It also emphasises customisability, where each section could be added and removed or reordered on the page,” said Chang, adding that prior to the launch of the new site, there were very proactive responses from users on how to further fine-tune the site.

Nearly 10 million users tested out the new site, of which over 80,000 provided feedback to the company, he said.

“That shows the level of expectation of MSN in the market. This feedback also helped us develop a more market-oriented product,” said Chang.

In less than three weeks after the launch of the new site, there have been some 5.5 million visits from Malaysian users alone.

 

This article first appeared in The Edge Financial Daily, on October 24, 2014.