MSN UK Goes Free to Stem Losses

Microsoft’s online service MSN UK Thursday announced it
will offer free access beginning June 8, powered by British Telecom.

The move
comes after the user statistics declined from a published
figure of 150,000 UK users on January 20 to 125,000 in early

“We have been assessing
this and watching the dynamics of the market. And following customer
research, we know that the major causes of confusion and complaint for
free services are unreliability, hidden costs and losing your e-mail
address,” said Judy Gibbons, director of MSN in the UK.

“We have addressed each of these concerns and believe our new
service is strong in all these areas.”

MSN FreeWeb will offer free unlimited access to
the Internet, with users having to pay only for the local telephone
call. Unlike Dixon’s Freeserve, the service calls will be free as
well — although whether users will get an instant reply is not yet

Other enticements include unlimited e-mail accounts with MSN
Hotmail, dubbed “free e-mail for life.”

Microsoft Thursday said on MSN UK that MSN Internet access
“will remain in place if customers wish to continue paying for the
service.” Clearly, charity begins at home!

News Around the Web