MSN is back. Microsoft is revamping its MSN brand with the introduction of several Bing-powered apps and a new homepage. Existing Bing apps like News, Sports, Travel, Weather, and Finance will all be rebranded to MSN soon, and the software maker is planning to release each app for iOS and Android. It’s just the latest move in Microsoft’s "mobile-first, cloud-first" vision, where a number of cloud-powered services and apps are available cross-platform.
It’s also a surprising move. Microsoft had largely abandoned its MSN brand in favor of Windows Live and Bing over the past several years, but now the company seems to be focused on MSN once more. A new MSN.com homepage, which enters preview mode today, highlights a number of services from the software maker and popular social networks like Facebook and Twitter. Settings and information from Microsoft’s Bing apps, which are currently available on Windows 8 and Windows Phone, will be synced across MSN.com, the new cross-platform MSN apps, and Microsoft’s Cortana digital assistant.
MSN.com is still a popular portal thanks to it being being set as a default homepage on several Internet Explorer versions over the years. It’s not clear what this rebranding of Bing apps means for the overall Bing brand, and whether Microsoft may attempt to leverage MSN for its search efforts in future.