MSN Tries New Tactic To Lure AOLers

By Meg McGinity  |  Posted 2002-05-21 Print this article Print

Esaya's TrueSwitch service untangles user settings from AOL's proprietary web.

Microsoft is trying to remove one excuse AOL members have had for not switching over to MSN. The Redmond behemoth is using software, called TrueSwitch, that lets users of other Internet services migrate to its MSN Internet service without risking the loss of e-mail. "It eases the pain of switching the ISP," says Thomas Isaac, CEO of New York-based Esaya, the maker of TrueSwitch. "Its just like moving your home."
Isaac says TrueSwitch forwards all the information from one Internet account — your address book, calendaring information and email addresses — to another ISP, addressing one of users primary fears.
"AOL owns the majority of the Internet population and [users] find it very hard to switch," Isaac says. "They wont switch, because they are afraid." The application was formally rolled out this morning. MSN is in trials with the software to gauge user response, Isaac says. Canceling another ISP account is easy with the TrueSwitch tools, because the service can cancel an account by faxing or e-mailing cancellation requests directly to the provider, according to an e-mail response from a Microsoft spokesman. Users can register for the TrueSwitch option at MSNs Internet-access resource center. Microsoft has sweetened the deal for users thinking about migrating to its Internet service. The company says it has extended its switching offer of a $50 refund when a user joins MSN from another Internet provider.
Meg McGinity Senior Writer

Meg was an original staff member of start-up publication, where her beats included Internet and wireless industries and she was presented with CMP's President's Award for editorial in 1999. She joined Interactive Week in October 1999 as senior writer covering wireless and joined The Net Economy a year later, covering services.

Meg attended Northwestern's Medill School of Journalism for Master's in Journalism and was a staff member of Lerner Newspapers and Chicago Life Magazine. Her editorial work has also appeared in Crain's New York Business, The Village Voice, and Communications of the ACM.

Meg covers services, and wireless technology.


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