As part of the “mobile-first, cloud-first world” vision, Microsoft today is rebranding its Bing apps (News, Sports, Weather, Money, Travel, Food & Drink, and Health & Fitness) to MSN apps. The change is a piece of a larger plan as the company is revamping MSN.com and the MSN apps will debut on Android and iOS in the coming months.
Today’s overhauling of MSN.com also ports all the MSN apps into the web. Users interested on trying the new modern touch friendly portal can do so by visiting preview.msn.com on any web browser. The new homepage highlights everything you would expect from the service and unlike the now old version, the software giant is focusing on putting the most important services front-and-center with the “Services Stripe” at the top of the page to get access to Outlook.com, Office, OneNote, OneDrive, Maps, Facebook, Twitter, Xbox Music, and Skype.
More importantly all the user’s information and personalization settings will roam between devices when logged in, whether users are using the apps in Windows Phone or Windows 8.1, or in the web.
“You only need to set your favorites once, and your preferences will be connected across MSN, Cortana, Bing and other Microsoft experiences. Whether it is your watchlist of stocks in MSN Money, your favorite sports teams in MSN Sports, or your recipe collections in MSN Food & Drink, those things will always be with you at your PC at work, on your iPad in the living room, or on your Android phone when you are on the go.” — The company says.
Last time that Microsoft revamped its MSN.com was in 2012, when the company launched Windows 8, and the portal aimed to be a touch-first experience for Windows 8 and Windows RT users using Internet Explorer 10. It had a Metro theme focus on news, sport, money, auto, and entertainment.
This week the new MSN is launching in beta form and it’s available in 55 markets, but the company hopes to remove the “beta” label in the coming weeks. Microsoft also says that 50 million unique users access the Bing apps on Windows 8 and Windows Phone every month, but moving into the web makes the same content available for more users. And rebranding will also help the company to reach into the 400 million users worldwide to have more people using the apps that being in Windows, Windows Phone, iOS or Android.
How do you like the MSN rebrand idea? Does it sound like we’re going back to the 90’s? Tell us in the comments below.