Microsoft Brings MSN Back By Shifting Windows Phone’s Bing Apps To A New, Old Moniker

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Microsoft, in an effort to bring MSN back to mainstream prominence, is shifting its Bing-labeled Windows Phone and Windows apps under that brand’s aegis.

You are forgiven if you forgot that MSN is still a thing, or that a number of Windows Phone and Windows apps that have little to do with search are in fact still branded under the Bing name.

MSN may be on this side of risible in the sense that it is a portal, but it does retain international cachet, with more than 400 million monthly active users. In Brazil, MSN has more than 30 million. The Orkut joke fits here, of course.

According to Comscore, MSN has more than 100 million monthly actives in the United States. It is easy to forget just how large Middle America truly is.

If you are a Windows Phone user, expect to see the newly demarcated apps starting early next week. In other news, the full MSN switch over from old to new brand will happen early next week as well, TechCrunch has learned.

MSN: Still a thing, at least in Microsoft’s eyes.

The subtext of this is that the apps were always awkwardly sitting under Bing’s tree: Why content-related apps ended up under the search-related Bing brand was always a confusion. Now, Microsoft appears to be working to move those apps under a brand that it wants to highlight from a content perspective.

The only thing from this kerfuffle that matters is the point that Bing isn’t being deprecated. Instead, something that it should never have had under its roof is being put under a different, separately silly home. Fine.

MSN: It’s 2014, and Microsoft is branding like it’s 1994.