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Friday, February 10, 2006

The Soul of MSN

Via Barry at the SEW blog (congrats on the new gig, Barry!), we hear again of Microsoft's never-ending quest to build the MSN portal as "it should be, an entertainment hub."

Um, didn't MSN just relaunch last year? And how many relaunches does that make now for MSN? Five? Ten?

Why is it that Microsoft constantly must reinvent MSN every few years? I've thought a lot about that, and I think the MSN's problem is that it has no "soul."

Essentially, it's a mouthpiece for Microsoft's various, jumbled relationships and competing priorities that are never harmoniously linked in any meaningful, logical way. Unless Microsoft takes a completely different approach and unhooks MSN's tentacles from the Microsoft DNA, it will never succeed. It will just continue to putt along at the same rate, with the same nondescript lack of focus.

If Microsoft wants MSN to be an entertainment hub, then focus on the entertaintment aspect! Don't throw all kinds of real estate, health news, and business info into the mix. Focus on offering the best entertainment services that tie into Microsoft's entertainement initiatives, like Media Center, X-Box, Windows Media video, etc.

Better yet, if you want to create a portal the way it oughtta be, just look at My Yahoo! Why not try to embrace and extend that one, instead of the previous version of your uninspiring portal that is only used because of its default status in IE?

Posted by Cory Kleinschmidt




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