MSN Gets a Mobile Makeover
In a nod to the post-PC era, Microsoft's long-lived Web portal is now optimized for tablets and smartphones.MSN.com will soon start looking (and acting) different for its millions of users. Microsoft is currently in the process of switching over to a new design for the Website, the software giant's contribution to the Web portal craze that gripped the industry in the 1990s. Acknowledging the explosive growth of mobile device usage, the company said the new MSN provides a better experience on smartphones and tablets. "Over the next 72 hours, we will roll out the new MSN to the more than 425 million people in over 50 countries around the world that come to the site each month," said Brian MacDonald, corporate vice president of Information and Content Experiences for Microsoft, in a Sept. 29 announcement. The upgrade follows a three-week preview period that drew nearly 10 million visitors, 80,000 of which provided feedback. MSN now features an adaptive design that scales appropriately across smartphones, tablets and PCs. Also new is a "Services Stripe" that provides quick access to other Microsoft services, including Outlook.com, OneDrive and Skype, along with Twitter and Facebook.
Under the hood, the company enlisted its massive Azure cloud infrastructure, said MacDonald. "The new MSN is completely built from the ground up on Azure to provide massive, cost-effective scale (with more than 30,000 Azure cores for serving and 100 Terabytes of storage), reliability, and ongoing agility for a cloud-first, mobile-first world."