MSN (stylized as msn) is a web portal and related collection of Internet services and apps for Windows and mobile devices, provided by Microsoft and launched on August 24, 1995, the same release date as Windows 95.[3]

The Microsoft Network was initially a subscription-based dial-up online service that later became an Internet service provider named MSN Dial-up. At the same time, the company launched a new web portal named Microsoft Internet Start and set it as the first default home page of Internet Explorer, its web browser. In 1998, Microsoft renamed and moved this web portal to the domain name, where it has remained.[4]

In addition to its original MSN Dial-up service, Microsoft has used the 'MSN' brand name for a wide variety of products and services over the years, notably Hotmail (later, Messenger (which was once synonymous with 'MSN' in Internet slang and has now been replaced by Skype), and its web search engine, which is now Bing, and several other rebranded and discontinued services.

The current website and suite of apps offered by MSN was first introduced by Microsoft in 2014 as part of a complete redesign and relaunch.[5] MSN is based in the United States and offers international versions of its portal for dozens of countries around the world.[6]

2015 MSN logo
MSN partial screenshot 2015
The current MSN home page design, introduced in 2014.
Type of site
Web portal
Area servedWorldwide
Alexa rankNegative increase 53 (February 2019)[1]
LaunchedAugust 24, 1995
Current statusActive
Written inASP.NET[2]


Microsoft Internet Start screenshot August 24, 1995 on its initial launch day, August 24, 1995.
Msncom-1996 in October 1996, with the logo used from 1995 to 1998.

From 1995 to 1998, the domain was used by Microsoft primarily to promote MSN as an online service and Internet service provider. At the time, also offered a custom start page and an Internet tutorial, but Microsoft's major web portal was known as 'Microsoft Internet Start,' located at

Internet Start served as the default home page for Internet Explorer and offered basic information such as news, weather, sports, stocks, entertainment reports, links to other websites on the Internet, articles by Microsoft staff members, and software updates for Windows. Microsoft's original news website, (now, which launched in 1996, was also tied closely to the Internet Start portal.

In 1998, the largely underutilized '' domain name was combined with Microsoft Internet Start and reinvented as both a web portal and as the brand for a family of sites produced inside Microsoft's Interactive Media Group. The new website put MSN in direct competition with sites such as Yahoo!, Excite and Go Network. Because the new format opened up MSN's content to the world for free, the Internet service provider and subscription service was renamed MSN Internet Access at that time. (That service eventually became known as MSN Dial-up.)[4]

The relaunched contained a whole family of sites, including original content, channels that were carried over from 'web shows' that were part of Microsoft's MSN 2.0 experiment with its Internet service provider in 1996–97, and new features that were rapidly added. became the successor to the default Internet Explorer start page, as all of the previous 'Microsoft Internet Start' website was merged with[4]

Some of the original websites that Microsoft launched during that era remain active in some form today. Microsoft Investor, a business news and investments service that was once produced in conjunction with CNBC, is now MSN Money;[7][8][9] CarPoint, an automobile comparison and shopping service, is now MSN Autos; and the Internet Gaming Zone, a website offering online casual games, is now MSN Games. Other websites since divested by Microsoft include the travel website Expedia, the online magazine Slate, and the local event and city search website

MSN logo
The former MSN 'butterfly' logo used from 2000 to 2009.[10] MSN Dial-up continued to use this logo until 2016.[11]

In the late 1990s, Microsoft collaborated with many other service providers, as well as other Microsoft departments, to expand the range of MSN's services. Some examples include MSN adCenter, MSN Shopping (affiliated with eBay, PriceGrabber and, and the Encarta encyclopedia with various levels of access to information.

Since then, has remained a popular destination, launching many new services and content sites. MSN's Hotmail and Messenger services were promoted from the portal, which provided a central place for all of MSN's content. MSN Search (now Bing), a dedicated search engine, launched in 1999. The single sign-in service for Microsoft's online services, Microsoft Passport (now Microsoft account), also launched across all MSN services in 1999. The portal and related group of services under the 'MSN' umbrella remained largely the same in the early 2000s.

The sports section of the MSN portal was from 2001 to 2004, and from 2004 to 2014.[12][13] MSN had an exclusive partnership with for news content from 1996 until 2012, when Microsoft sold its remaining stake in to NBCUniversal and the website was renamed Since then, MSN has launched 'MSN News', an in-house news operation.[14]

As of May 2005, was the second most visited portal websites in the United States with a share of 23.2 percent, behind Yahoo! which held a majority.[15]

The former MSN 'butterfly' logo used from 2009 to 2014. ninemsn continued to use this logo until 2016.

MSN released a preview of an updated home page and logo on November 3, 2009.[16] It was originally expected to be widely available to over 100 million U.S. customers by early 2010.[17][18] MSN rolled out the newer logo, together with a redesign of the overall website, on December 25, 2009.[19][20]

In 2012, MSN announced on its blog that it would be unveiling a new version of the home page on October 26, exclusively for Windows 8, saying that the new version would be "clean, simple, and built for touch."[21] Microsoft said it would be more app-like due to the speed of Internet Explorer 10. More new features included 'Flip Ahead', which allowed users to swipe from one article to the next. MSN for Windows 8 also had new deals with the AP and Reuters.[22]

Rebranding of services

Many of MSN's services were reorganized in 2005 and 2006 under a new brand name that Microsoft championed at the time, Windows Live. This move was part of Microsoft's strategy to improve its online offerings using the Windows brand name. The company also overhauled its online software and services due to increasing competition from rivals such as Yahoo! and Google. The new name was introduced one service at a time. The group of Windows Live services used Web 2.0 technology to offer features and functionality through a web browser that were traditionally only available through dedicated software programs.

Some of the MSN services affected by the rebranding included MSN Hotmail, which became Windows Live Hotmail (now; MSN Messenger, which became Windows Live Messenger (now integrated into Skype); MSN Search, which became Live Search (now known as Bing); MSN Virtual Earth, which became Live Search Maps (now Bing Maps); MSN Spaces, which became Windows Live Spaces; MSN Alerts, which became Windows Live Alerts; and MSN Groups, which became Windows Live Groups. Some other services, such as MSN Direct, remained a part of the MSN family without transitioning to Windows Live.

Following the launch of Windows Live, the MSN brand took on a different focus. MSN became primarily an online content provider of news, entertainment, and common interest topics through its web portal,, while Windows Live provided most of Microsoft's online software and services. In 2012, Microsoft began to phase out the Windows Live brand, referring to each service separately by its individual brand name without any 'Windows' prefix or association.[23]

Newest redesign

Microsoft launched a completely rewritten and redesigned MSN website, making use of the company's modern design language, on September 30, 2014.[5] The new MSN portal features a new version of the logo that follows a style similar to other current Microsoft products. The website no longer offers original content, instead employing editors to repurpose existing content from partners at popular and trusted organizations. Much of the existing content on MSN was eliminated as the website was simplified into a new home page and categories, some of which have corresponding apps:[24]

  • News: The latest news headlines and articles from a variety of hand-picked sources. Synced with the News app.
  • Weather: Current weather conditions, forecasts, maps, news, and traffic. Synced with the Weather app.
  • Entertainment: TV, movies, music, and celebrity news, as well as theater showtimes, tickets, and TV listings. Based on the former Bing Entertainment service. Also includes the MSN Games website for online casual games.
  • Sports: Up-to-the-minute scores, standings, and headlines from leagues worldwide. Synced with the Sports app.
  • Money: Stock market tickers and watchlists, personal finance, real estate, investments, currency converter, and more. Synced with the Money app.
  • Lifestyle: Headlines, features, and other content related to style, home & garden, family, smart living, relationships, and horoscopes.
  • Health & Fitness: Tools and information about weight loss, strength, exercise, nutrition, medicine, and more.
  • Food & Drink: Recipes, cooking tips, news from chefs, cocktails, and shopping lists.
  • Travel: Destinations, trip ideas, hotel search, flight search, flight status, and arrivals and departures. Previously based on Farecast.
  • Autos: Research and buying advice, auto-related news, information for enthusiasts, and coverage of auto shows worldwide.[25]
  • Video: Trending and viral videos, comedy and pop culture, and videos from other MSN categories. Integrates with video search from Bing Videos.

The top of the home page provides access to Microsoft services Bing,, Skype, Office Online, OneNote, OneDrive, Bing Maps, and Groove Music, as well as popular social media services Facebook and Twitter.[5] Signing into MSN with a Microsoft account allows for personalized content to appear and to be synchronized across devices on the website and in the corresponding apps. The redesign of the website led to the closure of MSN's longtime personalized home page service 'My MSN', which was made up of customized RSS feeds, as the new website no longer supports user-specified RSS content. However, it added some customizability, allowing each category on the home page to be reordered or hidden.

With the 2014 relaunch, MSN now supports responsive design and eliminates the need for a separate mobile website. The redesign of MSN proved positive and helped increase traffic with an additional 10 million daily visitors after two months.[26]


The MSN apps are a series of web-based cross-platform apps that primarily provide users information from sources that publish to MSN.

Microsoft launched these apps along with the 2014 redesign of the MSN web portal, rebranding many of the Bing apps that originally shipped with Windows and Windows Phone. News, Weather, Sports, Money, and Travel first shipped with Windows 8, while Health & Fitness and Food & Drink first appeared in Windows 8.1.[27][28] In December 2014, the apps became available across all the other major mobile device platforms as well: iOS, Android, and Fire OS.[29][30][31][32][33]

The apps allow users some, but not total, control of which sources provide information. Each app has its own color code that is used on the live tile and internally. Originally, each app brought a unified experience with the MSN website and synchronized preferences across devices; for example, setting a list of stocks to watch on would show the same data on the MSN Money app on all devices where the user was signed in with a Microsoft account. The synchronization was dropped when the apps were rebuilt for Windows 10.

There are currently four apps in the suite: News, Weather, Sports, and Money.[34] In July 2015, Microsoft announced the discontinuation of the Food & Drink, Health & Fitness, and Travel apps on all platforms, and that they will not be bundled with Windows 10; those three apps are no longer offered.[35]

After Microsoft's acquisition of Nokia's mobile phone division, Microsoft also started bundling MSN services with its Nokia-branded feature phones, though the only supported model was the Nokia 215.[36][37][38] In addition to these apps, Microsoft developed a separate set of mobile apps specifically for MSN China.


Microsoft News
MSN News icon
Microsoft News on Windows 10 in dark mode
Microsoft News on Windows 10 in dark mode
Initial releaseOctober 26, 2012
Operating systemWindows 8, Windows 8.1, Windows 10, Windows Phone 8, Windows Phone 8.1, Windows 10 Mobile, Windows Mixed Reality, Windows Server 2012, Windows Server 2012 R2, Windows Server 2016, iOS, Android
PlatformIA-32, x64, ARM
Typenews aggregator

Microsoft News (previously MSN News and Bing News) is a news aggregator and service that features the latest news headlines and articles hand-picked by editors around the clock from trusted sources across the web. The app includes sections for top stories, U.S., world, politics, money, technology, entertainment, opinion, sports, 'weekend reads', crime, and offbeat news. It allows users to set their own favorite topics and sources, receive notifications of breaking news though alerts, filter preferred news sources, and alter font sizes to make articles easier to read.[39]

Originally, News included an RSS feed, but that capability was removed; Microsoft currently only allows users to subscribe to specified news sources.[40] News uses the chaseable live tile feature introduced in the Windows 10 Anniversary Update. If a user clicks on the News Start menu tile when a particular story is shown, the user will see a link to that story at the top of the app when it launches.[41]


MSN Weather
MSN Weather icon
MSN Weather on Windows 10
MSN Weather on Windows 10
Initial releaseOctober 26, 2012
Operating systemWindows 8, Windows 8.1, Windows 10, Windows Phone 8, Windows Phone 8.1, Windows 10 Mobile, Windows Mixed Reality, Windows Server 2012, Windows Server 2012 R2, Windows Server 2016, Android
PlatformIA-32, x64, ARM

MSN Weather (originally named Bing Weather) shows weather from a user's current location or any other location worldwide, and it allows users to define their favorite places, which will synchronize back to the web portal and across devices. Users can pin Weather tiles to the Start menu to see local weather conditions from multiple locations at a glance. It also offers satellite maps and has information regarding ski resorts.[42] The app receives its weather conditions and forecasts from a variety of sources internationally.[43] Weather uses weather conditions as the background, making it the only app that does not have a light/dark switch in Windows 10. Weather is not available for iOS; however, it comes preinstalled on the Nokia 215 phone from Microsoft Mobile that runs Series 30+; it is currently the only feature phone to have the app built-in.[38]


MSN Sports
MSN Sports icon
MSN Sports on Windows 10 in light mode
MSN Sports on Windows 10 in light mode
Initial releaseOctober 26, 2012
Operating systemWindows 8, Windows 8.1, Windows 10, Windows Phone 8, Windows Phone 8.1, Windows 10 Mobile, Windows Mixed Reality, Windows Server 2012, Windows Server 2012 R2, Windows Server 2016, iOS, Android
PlatformIA-32, x64, ARM

MSN Sports (originally named Bing Sports) displays various sports scores and standings from hundreds of leagues around the world, as well as aggregating sports-related articles and news headlines.[44][45][46][47] Sports also allows the user to view slideshows and photo galleries, look up information about individual players and fantasy leagues, and set and track their favorite teams by selecting various topics from the hamburger menu.[48][49] It also powers various predictive features within Microsoft's Cortana virtual assistant.[50]


MSN Money
MSN Money icon
MSN Money on Windows 10 in dark mode
MSN Money on Windows 10 in dark mode
Initial releaseOctober 26, 2012
Operating systemWindows 8, Windows 8.1, Windows 10, Windows Phone 8, Windows Phone 8.1, Windows 10 Mobile, Windows Mixed Reality, Windows Server 2012, Windows Server 2012 R2, Windows Server 2016, iOS, Android
PlatformIA-32, x64, ARM

MSN Money (originally named Bing Finance) allows users to set up lists of stocks to watch, follow certain corporations and receive stock updates, get the latest headlines regarding stock markets, view real-time trading figures with a 30-minute delay, track their own personal finances, calculate mortgages, get information on commodities and bonds, and convert currency.[51][52][53]

Discontinued apps

Food & Drink

MSN Food & Drink (originally named Bing Food & Drink) was a recipe app that offers news related to food and drink, a personal shopping list that synchronizes across devices and the web, and a wine encyclopedia that contains information on over 1.5 million bottles of wine, over 3.3 million tasting notes, and hundreds of cocktail recipes.[54] Users can control the app hands-free, add their own recipes from physical cookbooks or personal recipes by snapping a photo, add notes to recipes, and sort the recipes into collections.[55] The app also collects information from famous chefs and lists them according to their style of cuisine.[56]

Health & Fitness

MSN Health & Fitness (originally named Bing Health & Fitness) allowed users to track their intake of calories, look up nutritional information for hundreds of thousands of different foods, use a built-in GPS tracker, view step-by-step workouts and exercises with images and videos, check symptoms for various health conditions, and synchronize their health data to third-party devices such as activity trackers.[57][58][59] MSN Health & Fitness formerly connected data with the Microsoft HealthVault, but it started using a Microsoft account with MSN's own cloud service to synchronize data when it was rebranded from Bing to MSN.[60][61] The app is not related in any way to Microsoft's Xbox Fitness or Microsoft Health (the companion app for the Microsoft Band), despite being similar in function.[62]


MSN Travel (originally named Bing Travel) was a travel search engine that allows users to book hotels and flights, aggregates travel-related headlines, and offers detailed information about thousands of travel destinations.[63] Data in the app is powered by various travel websites, including Expedia, formerly owned by Microsoft.[64] Other features include finding information on local restaurants, viewing pictures (including panoramas) and historical data about destinations, and reading reviews by previous travelers.[65] If the user is signed in, Cortana can track flights and get hotel information through the app.[66] MSN Travel was the only app in the suite that was exclusive to Windows. The app was discontinued in September 2015 but can still be accessed via the web.[67]

Previously, Microsoft had acquired Farecast in 2008, a website in the computer reservations system industry that offered predictions regarding the best time to purchase airline tickets.[68] Farecast was founded in 2003 and collected over 175 billion airfare observations by 2007.[69] Farecast's team of data miners used these airfare observations to build algorithms to predict future airfare price movements.[70] Microsoft integrated it as part of its Live Search group of tools in May 2008 as Live Search Farecast; Microsoft rebranded it as Bing Travel on June 3, 2009, as part of its efforts to create a new search identity.[71] In 2009, there were allegations that Bing Travel had copied its layouts from; Microsoft denied the allegations.[72] By January 2013, Bing Travel results were powered by As of January 2014, the fare prediction feature had been removed. As of May 2015, Microsoft rebranded the service to MSN Travel.[73] In August 2015, MSN Travel flight search pages changed from being powered by to its competitor Skyscanner.

Older mobile apps

Microsoft first offered content from its MSN web portal on mobile devices in the early 2000s, through a service it called Pocket MSN (in line with its Pocket PC products of the era) and later renamed MSN Mobile. The original MSN Mobile software was preloaded on many cell phones and PDAs, and usually provided access to legacy MSN services like blogs (MSN Spaces), email (Hotmail), instant messaging (MSN Messenger), and web search (now called Bing). Some wireless carriers charged a premium to access it. As many former MSN properties were spun off to Bing, Windows Live, and other successors in late 2000s, the Microsoft Mobile Services division took over the development of mobile apps related to those services.

In the meantime, Microsoft's MSN apps took on a more content-related focus, as did the web portal itself. Previous versions of MSN apps that were bundled with Windows Mobile and early versions of Windows Phone,[74] as well as MSN apps for Android and iOS devices in the early 2010s, were primarily repositories for news articles found on[75][76][77] Other earlier MSN mobile apps included versions of MSN Weather and MSN Money for Windows Mobile 6.5,[78][79][80] and 'MSN Money Stocks' and a men's magazine called 'MSN OnIt' for Windows Phone 7.[81][82]


Microsoft's world headquarters is in the United States, so the main MSN website is based there. However, MSN has offered various international versions of its portal since its inception in 1995 for dozens of countries around the world.[6] A list of international MSN affiliates is available at MSN Worldwide.[83]

Following the redesign and relaunch of the MSN web portal in 2014, most international MSN websites share the same layout as the U.S. website and are largely indistinguishable from it, aside from their content. There were two exceptions: ninemsn, a longtime partnership between Microsoft and the Nine Network in Australia that launched in 1997 (Microsoft sold its stake in the venture and 2013 and ended its co-branding with Nine in 2016);[84] and MSN China, an entirely customized version of MSN for China (Microsoft discontinued the portal in 2016, replacing it with a page that links to a number of other Chinese websites).[85]

See also


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External links

Bing (search engine)

Bing is a web search engine owned and operated by Microsoft. The service has its origins in Microsoft's previous search engines: MSN Search, Windows Live Search and later Live Search. Bing provides a variety of search services, including web, video, image and map search products. It is developed using ASP.NET.

Bing, Microsoft's replacement for Live Search, was unveiled by Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer on May 28, 2009, at the All Things Digital conference in San Diego, California, for release on June 1, 2009. Notable new features at the time included the listing of search suggestions while queries are entered and a list of related searches (called "Explore pane") based on semantic technology from Powerset, which Microsoft had acquired in 2008.In July 2009, Microsoft and Yahoo! announced a deal in which Bing would power Yahoo! Search. All Yahoo! Search global customers and partners made the transition by early 2012. The deal was altered in 2015, meaning Yahoo! was only required to use Bing for a "majority" of searches.In October 2011, Microsoft stated that they were working on new back-end search infrastructure with the goal of delivering faster and slightly more relevant search results for users. Known as "Tiger", the new index-serving technology had been incorporated into Bing globally since August that year. In May 2012, Microsoft announced another redesign of its search engine that includes "Sidebar", a social feature that searches users' social networks for information relevant to the search query.As of October 2018, Bing is the third largest search engine globally, with a query volume of 4.58%, behind Google (77%) and Baidu (14.45%). Yahoo! Search, which Bing largely powers, has 2.63%.

Bing Maps

Bing Maps (previously Live Search Maps, Windows Live Maps, Windows Live Local, and MSN Virtual Earth) is a web mapping service provided as a part of Microsoft's Bing suite of search engines and powered by the Bing Maps for Enterprise framework.

Dane County Regional Airport

For the Air National Guard use of this facility, see Truax Field Air National Guard Base.Dane County Regional Airport (DCRA) (IATA: MSN, ICAO: KMSN, FAA LID: MSN) (Truax Field) is a civil-military airport located six miles northeast of downtown Madison, the capital of Wisconsin. In the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) National Plan of Integrated Airport Systems for 2019–2023, it is categorized as a small-hub primary commercial service facility. It is the second busiest of eight commercial airports in Wisconsin in terms of passengers served.

DCRA has three runways and in 2016 it served more than 1.8 million passengers. MSN serves American, Delta, Frontier, Sun Country, and United. These airlines have non-stop flights to fifteen hubs with over 95 departures and arrivals daily to and from destinations such as Atlanta, New York City, Orlando, Salt Lake City, Washington DC, Charlotte, and San Francisco. Delta and United provide service with Airbus A319s, A320s, and A321s as well as Boeing 737s and 757s which are among the largest aircraft operating at the airport. Frontier has introduced the Airbus A320neo to the airport, an aircraft with one of the quietest engines in the US commercial fleet.


Microsoft Encarta was a digital multimedia encyclopedia published by Microsoft Corporation from 1993 to 2009. Originally sold on CD-ROM or DVD, it was also later available on the World Wide Web via an annual subscription – although later many articles could also be viewed free online with advertisements. By 2008, the complete English version, Encarta Premium, consisted of more than 62,000 articles, numerous photos and illustrations, music clips, videos, interactive content, timelines, maps, atlases and homework tools.

Microsoft published similar encyclopedias under the Encarta trademark in various languages, including German, French, Spanish, Dutch, Italian, Portuguese and Japanese. Localized versions contained contents licensed from national sources and more or less content than the full English version. For example, the Dutch version had content from the Dutch Winkler Prins encyclopedia.

In March 2009, Microsoft announced it was discontinuing both the Encarta disc and online versions. The MSN Encarta site was closed on October 31, 2009 in all countries except Japan, where it was closed on December 31, 2009. Microsoft continued to operate the Encarta online dictionary until 2011. is a sports news website operated by the Fox Sports division of Fox Sports Media Group. The website primarily features streaming video content surrounding sports-related topics, including segments and features from the division's studio programming.


The iLoo (short for Internet loo) was a cancelled Microsoft project to develop a Wi-Fi Internet-enabled portable toilet. The iLoo, which was to debut at British summer festivals, was described as being a portable toilet with wireless broadband Internet, an adjustable plasma screen, a membrane wireless keyboard, a six-channel speaker system, and toilet paper embossed with popular web site addresses. The iLoo was also to have an extra screen and keyboard on the outside, and was to be guarded. It was intended as the next in a series of successful initiatives by MSN UK which sought to introduce the internet in unusual locations, including MSN Street, MSN Park Bench and MSN Deckchair.

The project was announced by MSN UK on April 30, 2003, and was widely ridiculed before being declared a hoax by Microsoft on May 12. On May 13, another Microsoft press release stated that although the project had not been a hoax, it had been cancelled because it would do little to promote the MSN brand. There has since been speculation as to whether the project was cancelled for fear of being sued by Andrew Cubitt, who had invented the similarly named product "i-Loo". The iLoo was described as a public relations "debacle" by Online Journalism Review.

MSN Dial-up

MSN Dial-up is an Internet service provider operated by Microsoft in the United States and formerly also in several other countries. Originally named The Microsoft Network, it debuted as a proprietary online service on August 24, 1995, to coincide with the release of Windows 95. In 1996 and 1997, a revised web-based version of the ISP was an early experiment at interactive multimedia content on the Internet.

Microsoft renamed the service MSN Internet Access in 1998, focusing its main 'MSN' brand on its web portal of the same name, Today, the company still provides dial-up Internet access under the name 'MSN Dial-up' for those who cannot access high-speed broadband. For several years, MSN was the second largest dial-up ISP in the United States behind longtime leader AOL, but very few people in the U.S. still rely on dial-up.Along with dial-up service, MSN provides its subscribers with an email account to use with and security software such as firewall and anti-virus programs. It also offers these extra features as a standalone subscription service for users of broadband Internet access named 'MSN Premium'.

MSN Games

MSN Games (also known as - formerly known as The Village, Internet Gaming Zone, MSN Gaming Zone, and MSN Games by is a casual gaming web site, with single player, multiplayer, PC download, and social casino video games. Games are available in free online, trial, and full feature pay-to-play versions.

MSN Games is a part of Microsoft Studios, associated with the MSN portal, and is owned by Microsoft, headquartered in Redmond, Washington.

MSN Music

MSN Music is a part of MSN's web services. It delivers music news, music videos, spotlights on new music, artist information, and live performances of artists. The website also served as a digital music store from 2004 to 2008.


MSN TV (formerly WebTV) was the name of both a thin client which used a television for display (instead of using a computer monitor), and the online service that supported it.

The product and service was developed by WebTV Networks, Inc., a company purchased by Microsoft Corporation and absorbed into MSN (the Microsoft Network). While most thin clients developed in the mid-1990s were positioned as diskless workstations for corporate intranets, WebTV was positioned as a consumer device for web access.

The WebTV product was an adapter that allowed a television set to be connected to the Internet, mainly for web browsing and e-mail. The setup included a web browser, a corded or wireless (for example, bluetooth or IRDA) keyboard and a connection, using a modem, ADSL, cable Internet access, or power line communication.

Although WebTV allowed less functionality than a standard computer-based web browser, it was a low-cost alternative to a traditional computer connection to the Internet.

On July 1, 2013, an email was sent out to customers that the service would be shutting down on September 30, 2013, and customer service would be available until January 15, 2014.

MSN Travel

MSN Travel (previously Bing Travel, Live Search Farecast, and is an airfare prediction website in the computer reservations system industry. Bing Travel premiered to the public as Farecast on May 15, 2007. MSN Travel offered predictions regarding the best time to purchase airline tickets until 2014.

Microsoft mobile services

Microsoft Mobile Services are a set of proprietary mobile services created specifically for mobile devices, they are typically offered through mobile applications and mobile browser for Windows Phone, Android, iOS, BlackBerry, Nokia /block/deny/405platforms, BREW, and Java ME. Microsoft's mobile services are typically connected with a Microsoft account and often come preinstalled on Microsoft's own mobile operating systems while they are offered via various means for other platforms. Microsoft started to develop for mobile computing platforms with the launch of Windows CE in 1996 and later added Microsoft's Pocket Office suite to their Handheld PC line of PDAs in April 2000. From December 2014 to June 2015, Microsoft made a number of corporate acquisitions, buying several of the top applications listed in Google Play and the App Store including Acompli, Sunrise Calendar, Datazen, Wunderlist, Echo Notification Lockscreen, and MileIQ., formerly known as, is a news website owned and operated by NBCUniversal as the online arm of NBC News. Along with original and wire reporting, it features content from NBC shows such as Today, NBC Nightly News and Dateline NBC, the MSNBC cable channel, and partners such as The New York Times.

The site was founded in 1996 as a 50-50 venture between NBCUniversal and Microsoft at the same time as the two companies formed a separate joint venture for the cable news network MSNBC. Although they shared the same name, and MSNBC maintained separate corporate structures and news operations, with headquartered on the West Coast on the Microsoft campus in Redmond, Washington and MSNBC in the NBC headquarters in New York. Microsoft divested its stake in the MSNBC channel in 2005, and divested its stake in in July 2012.

Gregory Gittrich, the former editor-in-chief of NBC Local Integrated Media and, before that, the assistant managing editor of the New York Daily News, was named vice president and executive editor of in October 2012, and began to reduce the news staff, pulling back from doing original journalism online.

He reported to Vivian Schiller, former chief executive officer of National Public Radio. By 2014, with the staff greatly reduced, both Gittrich and Schiller had moved on to Vocativ. (formerly Ninemsn) is one of Australia’s leading news and current events websites, owned by ASX-listed company, Nine Entertainment Co. It was originally established as a 50:50 joint venture between Microsoft and PBL Media (now Nine Entertainment Co.) in 1997 as "Ninemsn". Microsoft sold its stake in the venture to Nine Entertainment in 2013 and the company was rebranded as Nine Digital in 2016.[1] The website was rebranded to its current name on 28 June 2016.[2][3]Today is a network of sites include 9News, Nine’s Wide Word of Sports, and 9Honey. is a web-based suite of webmail, contacts, tasks, and calendaring services from Microsoft. One of the world's first webmail services, it was founded in 1996 as Hotmail (stylized as HoTMaiL) by Sabeer Bhatia and Jack Smith in Mountain View, California, and headquartered in Sunnyvale. Microsoft acquired Hotmail in 1997 for an estimated $400 million and launched it as MSN Hotmail, later rebranded to Windows Live Hotmail as part of the Windows Live suite of products. Microsoft released the final version of Hotmail in October 2011 and it was replaced by in 2013.

Windows Live

Windows Live is a discontinued brand-name for a set of web services and software products from Microsoft as part of its software plus services platform. Chief components under the brand name included web services (all of which were exposed through corresponding web apps), several computer programs that interact with the services, and specialized web services for mobile devices.According to Microsoft, Windows Live "is a way to extend the Windows user experience". As such, Windows Vista's welcome screen provides a link to download Windows Live Messenger or to subscribe to Windows Live OneCare. Also, Windows Mail, Windows Photo Gallery and Windows Movie Maker were not offered with Windows 7 and became an exclusive part of Windows Live. Microsoft announced that Windows 8 would see Windows Live apps included right out-of-the-box, and would include built-in synchronization technologies powered by OneDrive (then SkyDrive). The Windows Live brand was phased out during August 2012, when Microsoft released Windows 8 to manufacturing. Active Windows Live services remained active but were gradually renamed. The "live" domain, however, continues to be used in URLs for many online Microsoft sites.

In addition to Windows Live, which is mainly aimed at individuals, Microsoft brands other properties as "Live", including:

Xbox LIVE (a multiplayer gaming and content-delivery system for Xbox)

Games for Windows - LIVE (multiplayer gaming service for Microsoft Windows)

Office Live. Office Live merged into Windows Live during the Wave 4 update. Microsoft merged Office Live into the Windows Live team in January 2009.

Windows Live Messenger

MSN Messenger, later rebranded as Windows Live Messenger, was a cross-platform instant messaging client developed by Microsoft. It connected to the Microsoft Messenger service while also having (as of the final version) compatibility with Yahoo! Messenger and Facebook Messenger. The client was first released as MSN Messenger Service on July 22, 1999, and was marketed under the MSN branding until 2005 when it was rebranded under Windows Live and has since been officially known by its present name, although its previous name was still used colloquially by most of its users. In June 2009, Microsoft reported the service attracted over 330 million active users each month, placing Messenger among the most widely used instant messaging clients in the world.Versions of MSN/Windows Live Messenger were released for Windows, Xbox 360, Mac OS X (later under the name Microsoft Messenger for Mac), BlackBerry OS, iOS, Java ME, S60 on Symbian OS 9.x, Zune HD, Windows Phone, Windows Mobile and Windows CE.

Following the acquisition of Skype Technologies in May 2011, Microsoft added interoperability between Skype and Microsoft accounts, allowing Skype (which had features unique to its platform and a wider user base) to communicate with Messenger contacts. In 2013, Windows Live Messenger was discontinued and Microsoft began ceasing service to existing clients. The service in China remained active for another 18 months, and ceased operations on October 31, 2014.

Windows Live Spaces

Windows Live Spaces was Microsoft's blogging and social networking platform. The site was originally released in early 2004 as MSN Spaces to compete with other social networking sites, and re-launched in 2006 as a part of a shifting of community services away from the MSN brand. Windows Live Spaces received an estimated 27 million (27,000,000) unique visitors per month as of August 2007. Despite being considered a useful messaging and communication tool, Windows Live Spaces has been criticized as not being as powerful as some of its alternatives. It was shut down in 2011 due to low viewership.

Windows Live Toolbar

Windows Live Toolbar was a browser extension toolbar for Internet Explorer. It superseded MSN Search Toolbar. Windows Live Toolbar provided a simple search interface that starts to list results as the user types in a search query, and uses Bing as its search engine. The toolbar also allows users to synchronize their Internet Explorer favorites across multiple computers, and provides an interface to Windows Live and MSN services.

Microsoft also added more tools to Windows Live Toolbar by acquiring Onfolio and integrating it into Windows Live Toolbar.

Founded by JJ Allaire, Allaire Corporation co-founder and creator of the programming language ColdFusion, along with Adam Berrey and Charles Teague, Onfolio was an online research tool that could be used to collect data from the web and make annotations such as inking and text highlighting. Onfolio could be used to download online pages for offline viewing, including document files such as Adobe PDF. It could also be used as an RSS reader. Users could share the information and feeds collected by Onfolio via email and blogs. After Microsoft acquired Onfolio, it integrated the product with Windows Live Toolbar, which was the only way to get Onfolio. As of August 2008 however, Microsoft announced that the Onfolio has been discontinued.Older versions of Windows Live Toolbar also provided a form filler and a highlight viewer, but these features have been removed.

Windows Live Toolbar is included with Windows Live Essentials "Wave 3" release. However, it is no longer a part of the "Wave 4" version of Windows Live Essentials (released on 30 September 2010); it is replaced with Bing Bar. According to Microsoft, Windows Live Toolbar was officially discontinued on 31 March 2011.For the IE Favorites syncing option previously included initially as and then in the Windows Live Toolbar, it is now part of the Windows Live Essentials suite, in the Windows live Mesh solution.

MSN software and services
Current services
Divested by Microsoft
File systems
Spun off to
Microsoft Store

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