Microsoft just gave a quick sneak peek of the redesigned version of MSN at the IAB MIXX digital ad conference. It’s optimized for Windows 8 (in fact, it will be the default homepage for Internet Explorer 10 on many Windows 8 devices), and it will be launched on the same day as the new Windows, October 26.
The MSN homepage’s new layout is reminiscent of the Metro design that we’ve already seen on Windows and Windows Phone 7. It’s a clean, tile-based design, with big type and images, with a new News section.
And it’s optimized for navigating with touch screens. One of the cooler new features is the ability to “flip ahead,” where you basically swipe across the screen to flip the page and read the next article. Another new feature is the ability to “snap” content to the side of the screen. For example, you could look up financial information on MSN Money, snap that content to the side of the screen, then open a PowerPoint presentation and copy the information over.
Microsoft also offered a preview of new Bing apps for search, news, and travel. Again, there was a new layout, and you could snap content to reference later. And yes, space is saved for big, glossy ads.
Qi Lu, Microsoft’s president of online services, closed his presentation by saying that online media has not “lived up to the promise” of allowing marketers to build brands online. By nailing the consumer experience for the new wave of devices and services, Lu says Microsoft can change that, and can enter a “new era.”
You can read more about the new MSN in this Microsoft blog post.