Microsoft today unveiled a first look of the new MSN in UAE. Designed from the ground up for a mobile, cloud first world, the new MSN combines premium content from the world’s leading media outlets with personal productivity tools that help you do more. Built around the insight that the knowledge and information that enriches your life should be accessible regardless of where you are or what device you are using, the new experience is available on the web and will soon be available across all major device platforms, including Windows, iOS and Android.
“We have re-written MSN from the ground up for a mobile-first, cloud first world. The new MSN brings together the world’s best media sources along with data and services to enable users to do more,” said Brian MacDonald, Corporate Vice President of Information and Content Experiences at Microsoft. “The new MSN focuses on the primary digital daily habits in people’s lives, helping them complete tasks on the web and across all of their devices, roaming data and personalized settings to keep users in the know wherever they are.”
Most Popular and Complete Content
MSN is partnering with some of the world’s best and most authoritative sources, including the New York Times and Motor Trend in the U.S., The Yomiuri Shimbun and The Asahi Shimbun in Japan, the Guardian and the Telegraph in the UK, NDTV and Hindustan Times in India, Le Figaro and Le Monde in France, and Lance and Estadão in Brazil, and many more.
In UAE and across the region, Microsoft has partnered with a number of leading content providers, including CNN Arabic; Layalina; ArabsTurbo; Sky News Arabia; Aljazeera; Fatafeat, a brand of Discovery Networks; Eva Halasa Rihani; Drive Arabia; Manal Alalem; Arabian Business; Time Out Dubai;;Ahlan!; Ahlan! Masala; Construction Week; Channel Middle East; Altibbi and Webteb. Microsoft has also partnered with SyndiGate, who are providing news, editorial articles, photographs and video from over one hundred of the widest-read and most-respected publishers and content providers in the Middle East and North Africa today
Spanning 7 sections including sports, news, health & fitness, money, travel and sports, the new MSN provides a global perspective from thousands of publishers across the world. Information ranges from the latest stats on over 200 global sports leagues, , to over 300,000 gorgeously photographed recipes and more. MSN’s expert editors are able to draw from the over 1,200 sources to hand-curate content for individual markets and cultures.
“CNN is the world’s leading news video brand and getting that video in front of as many people as possible is of paramount importance to us,” said KC Estenson, GM & SVP of CNN Digital, “We think partnering with Microsoft to distribute CNN’s premium, made-for-digital news video across their platforms will put CNN in front of an even bigger audience than we have today.”
Mark Gatty Saunt, Director of Content Sales & Licensing at SyndiGate commented, “SyndiGate is dedicated to enlightening and inspiring audiences with authoritative, differentiated and trusted content. And we are hugely proud to have been selected by Microsoft as a major content partner for aggregated news, editorial articles, photographs and video content, focused on or about the Middle East and its surrounding regions.”
Know More, Do More
The new MSN brings actionable information and the opportunity to act directly at the point where people are actively engaging, from personal productivity tools like shopping lists, flight status and savings calculators, to integrated access to popular sites like Outlook.com, Facebook, Twitter, OneNote, OneDrive, and soon Skype. At the top of the page, there is a personal stripe allowing you one click access to top services so you can stay on top of what’s happening in your life.
These integrated tools cover various categories letting you explore, plan, do, and track the activities you care about. When you’re searching for recipes and find one that you want to prepare, in one click you can convert the ingredients into a shopping list which will roam from the web to the mobile apps so you have it when you need it in the grocery store not on the printer at work.
A clean, fresh design makes it easy to find and enjoy content that interests you. You can organize categories and interests making the layout your own.
The new MSN makes it simple to personalize what you want to see regardless of which device you use. In the coming months, we will release a suite of MSN apps across Windows Phone, iOS and Android. You only need to set your preferences once, and your favorite stuff will always be there. In the finance section for instance, when you setup your stock watch list (e.g. DIS) it will show up the same way on the corresponding apps and website. If you prefer to get your content from a specific source, you can set that as a preference (e.g. more stories from New York Times.)
And it works the same way if you set it up on your phone – so no matter where you start, you don’t have to set it up all over again, changes and updates work the same way. So setup your favorite cities for weather or pick your favorite sports teams and those things will be with you at your PC at work, on your Windows 8.1 tablet in the living room, or on your iPhone when you are on the go.
New Opportunities for Brands
For brands, MSN will continue to offer its loyal audience with a personalized web experience with the added benefit of the best-of-the-web publishers and the engagement of applications across all mobile operating systems. The new MSN is an ideal environment for seamless brand storytelling across devices.
“Connect Ads and Microsoft have enjoyed a successful twelve year partnership and we are confident in this new transformational change to MSN. By combining comprehensive content from the world’s leading media outlets with powerful productivity and personalization tools, Microsoft are providing a web experience that allows consumers to do more from a single platform, but also more meaningful engagement opportunities for brands and advertisers to be reaching their target audiences across various mindsets” said Mohamed El Mehairy, Managing Director at Connect Ads.
Though the face of MSN has transformed, the process of buying ads is simple. Brands can still enjoy ease of purchasing through similar IAB standard units available on previous versions of MSN.
“With premium content and productivity tools, we’re thrilled to offer a new experience to both advertisers and consumers that help people do more,” said Bela Papp, Advertising and online lead, Microsoft CEE and MEA “Our daily lives have become increasingly busy and with that comes more screens to interact with to make our days make sense. MSN streamlines this experience to the benefit of all people and allows advertisers to be in more moments and to capture consumers at the right mindset during the day.”