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MSN - History, Affiliates, Windows Live, “The January Effect” – Reborn?

microsoft online content service

MSN began as a online provider like America Online. MSN supplied content with the use of a similar interface to that of Windows Explorer. MSN started up in the Advanced Technology Group, with the help of Nathan Myhrvold. After the Internet began to be used more widely, the service was renamed as “MSN 2.0.” This new service allowed for web access and supplied content as well. The newer features included extended multimedia, more interactive activities, and animation software powered by Macromedia Flash. Although these features were unheard of, the content was difficult to access by users with older technologies and lower-end, dial-up connections. Because of this, the service was, once more, renamed and introduced as a more basic provider. In February of 2000, MSN was branded with its current multi-hued butterfly logo.

MSN Affiliates

Microsoft has been involved in projects with a number of other service providers, including other departments within Microsoft. This has taken place in an attempt to expand the need for and appeal of the Microsoft Network. Included in these collaborations are: MSN Shopping, MSN Encarta, MSN Spaces, and MSN adCenter.
MSN Shopping is partnered with Pricegrabber, eBay, and Shopping.com. MSN Encarta is an online encyclopedia that allows users a number of ways to access information at various levels of cost. MSN Spaces is a community of blogs that was initially launched in 2004.

Windows Live

A large number of MSN software and services were given upgrades and renamed Windows Live in 2006. Microsoft has recently tried to improve its online offerings through providing more adequate services and more up-to-date software. When all of these updates are put into effect, then MSN will be a supplier of online content only through certain internet sites, such as msn.com. Windows Live utilizes new technologies to offer better software features as well as providing more use with expanded functions. This new approach is easily visible with Windows Live Hotmail because the user is able to right-click for a menu like that of Microsoft Outlook. Windows Live is also available through Office Live which offers Microsoft Office programs as well as expanded service through a new internet browser.

“The January Effect” – MSN Reborn?

In the first few months of 2007, liveside.net reported very disappointing results to the MSN redesign. It concluded that the Windows Live brand has losses resulting from alienating users, non-profitable running costs, and confusion caused by the frequent renaming of the brand. The website purported that these causes had all brought harm to the Microsoft online services. MSN made the decision to re-focus, yet again, on redesigning the network. The MSN Entertainment portal has decided to redesign the new provider by focusing on portal content instead of services. Many have said that their new outlook makes up for what was lacking in earlier incarnations.

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