Microsoft launched a redesigned MSN Mobile homepage on May 13, streamlining the portal's design and providing such as one-click access to Bing, Windows Live Hotmail and Windows Live Messenger. The mobile homepage is accessible on a variety of devices and browsers, including Safari on iPhone and Android. The announcement comes two months after Microsoft began rolling out its redesigned MSN homepage, which likewise emphasized streamlined design and deep integration with services such as Bing.
Microsoft launched the redesign of its MSN Mobile homepage
on May 13, marking the next step in the company's attempts to revamp its MSN
brand to meet competition from Yahoo, AOL and other Web-content portals.
"The first thing you may notice is that the new MSN Mobile
homepage shares the same look and feel of the MSN homepage we launched in
March," Farhana Ahmad and Darrin Eide, members of the MSN Mobile Program
Management team, wrote
in a May 13 posting on the MSN Blog
. "What you don't see in the picture,
although it's there, is that the design is optimized for mobile devices and the
performance improvements make the page really, really fast to download."
In the name of usability, they wrote, "We've consolidated
the top content into above-the-fold tabs that remember what you were looking at
when you come back." Microsoft also expanded the homepage's number of deep
navigation links threefold to 30, and the new interface provides one-click
access to Bing, Windows Live Hotmail and Windows Live Messenger. Bing and its
various search features, such as auto-suggest, have been deeply baked into the
new homepage's interface.
The mobile homepage is accessible via mobile.msn.com, on
mobile devices and browsers such as Safari on iPhone, Safari on Android 1.x and
2.x, Opera 9.5 on Windows Mobile, and Webkit on Palm WebOS. According to
Microsoft, the new mobile homepage is accessible on approximately 40 percent of
The announcement comes over two months after Microsoft began
rolling out its redesigned MSN homepage, likewise emphasizing a stripped-down
design and integration with social-networking services such as Twitter and
Facebook. First previewed in November, the redesign included 50 percent fewer
links and an emphasis on white space, in addition to Bing-powered search bars
and an in-line streaming video leveraging Silverlight technology.
In keeping with the Web's wholehearted embrace of everything
social-networking related, the MSN homepage redesign integrated user feeds from
Facebook, Twitter and Windows Live, along with a TrendWatch feature itemizing the most-Tweeted daily topics
Around the time that Microsoft began its redesign, Yahoo
also engaged in a homepage refresh, giving users the option of consolidating
their favorite content and sites onto single user pages. That Yahoo redesign
came paired with the company's $100 million "It's You" rebranding campaign,
done with an eye towards helping the once-mighty Web giant reconsolidate and
perhaps regain market-share.
Both Microsoft and Yahoo find themselves locked in Web
battle on a number of fronts with Google, which currently leads the
search-engine market in both the United States and internationally. Despite a
search-and-advertising deal between Microsoft and Yahoo struck last summer,
which will see Microsoft's Bing power back-end search on Yahoo's sites while
Yahoo takes over both companies' worldwide salesforce duties, Google continues
to hold a substantial market-share lead over even the combined companies.