RealTime IT News

Microsoft's MSN.com Gets New Look

Microsoft Corp. Tuesday redesigned its portal, MSN.com, putting emphasis on its new messaging services and communities.

Currently in beta testing, the new MSN.com includes a new interface that incorporates all of Microsoft's (MSFT) portal services in an easy-to-use fashion, the company said. Its newest feature is MSN Web Communities, which provide access for users to create personal Web sites using a variety of communications tools.

Also updated are personalization features, customized resources, as well as a message center providing chat and instant messaging services and access to Hotmail accounts. The site is expected to go live during the Comdex trade show next week in Las Vegas.

The site will compete with other portals such as Yahoo! (YHOO), Excite (ATHM) and Lycos (LCOS), which offer similar community services and resources.

"The new release of MSN.com marks a significant step forward in helping deliver the everyday Web for consumers," said Yusuf Mehdi, director of marketing for Microsoft's consumer and commerce group.

"By combining a new MSN.com design with a powerful new way for people to create and customize Web communities, we believe consumers across the board will find MSN.com the home page of choice."