Microsoft has recently revamped their old school MSN portal and gave it a very clean and sleek look. I must say that it does look a lot like Yahoo because of the way the site has been structured and also the blend of social features (twitter, facebook & email) right at the homepage.
This is a very smart move by Microsoft as MSN is the default home page for a lot of people and get tons of traffic (over 400 million/per month). By making this change in design & site structure Microsoft also hopes to drive more people to its search engine – bing!.
Microsoft vice president Erik Jorgensen recently said in an interview “A big part of my job is figuring out how I pull the Bing experience into MSN in a way that makes sense.”
One way of making money from a portal like MSN is to post features on the site that somehow ties in to the company’s search engine – Bing. The company has talked about ways it can present different features that push folks to Microsoft’s local, shopping, and travel search engines– which are among the most profitable parts of any search business. Erik said “To make that work, Microsoft needs to ensure that it is less visually jarring when one moves back and forth between MSN and Bing.”
Frankly I think this is a very good move by Microsoft as it can really help to increase their search market share. And if the portal can properly feature breaking news and daily columns on different subjects (like what yahoo does), it can truly become a success.
The new site design will be rolled out to all U.S. users starting in 2010. But you can preview it right now from- http://preview.msn.com/.