Microsoft Revamped ISP Pushes Portal Vision

In what may be seen as part of Microsoft Corp.’s portal page efforts,
the company today said it renamed its Internet access service, and will
offer an improved version of the service within weeks.


MSN Internet Access, formerly known as MSN Premier, will provide customers
with ISP services, including Outlook Express e-mail, Microsoft Chat 2.5
and the Internet Explorer 4.0 browser. In addition, MSN Internet Access
will support V.90 across the country, for 56Kbps modem Internet connections.


Coming this fall, Microsoft said the Internet start page for subscribers to
MSN Internet Access will be changed to MSN.COM. Through that page, MSN
Internet-based services will be availble such as
establishing multiple e-mail accounts through Hotmail, free subscriptions
to the Slate online magazine and discounts on premium services from
Microsoft Investor.


The portal gateway will link members to content such as Microsoft
Expedia.com, Microsoft CarPoint, Microsoft Sidewalk city guide, the
Microsoft HomeAdvisor, MSNBC on the Internet, the Microsoft Money Insider,
Internet Gaming Zone, Computing Central, and The
Microsoft Plaza.


To use MSN Internet Access, users need to have the Windows 95 operating
system or later version. The company is offering a free, one-month trial of MSN Internet
Access; for more information, visit the site or call 800-FREE-MSN (373-3676).


“Internet access has become a distinct, and very important, service for
customers, as many services that used to be tied to an ISP have evolved
into free services on the Web,” said Laura Jennings, vice president of MSN.
“Today, key differentiators for
ISPs are great call success rates, fast login times and high modem
connection speeds. MSN Internet Access delivers very well on all of these.”


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