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Microsoft to Revamp MSN for Windows 8 Era

New portal will feature tablet-friendly layout
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Microsoft is looking to transform the online advertising business with the launch of its Windows 8 software (along with a new version of Internet Explorer). So it stands to reason that its signature Web property, MSN, would follow suit.

Today, the company will unveil plans for a drastic makeover of MSN, one that will look to reimagine the portal for a drastically different Internet—an Internet that embraces a more "natural" user interface. In essence, MSN will look, feel and navigate a lot like Windows 8, which is centered on user-friendly live tiles rather than classic Windows and brower-based Web pages.

The company laid out the new MSN (and at least for now, laid to rest rumors that Microsoft may someday get rid of MSN) in a blog post. “When we saw what Windows 8 and IE 10 could make possible, we saw possibilities we had never before imagined,” wrote MSN gm Bob Visse. “We thought deeply about how you could interact with MSN in an increasingly touch- and tablet-friendly world. We envisioned something completely new and refreshing that would surprise and delight."

How exactly? Well, like Windows 8, the new MSN is visual-heavy, centered around tiles of various sizes. The bigger the tile, the more important the content, said Visse. “The result is a cleaner, more “app-like” experience,” he said.

Among the new MSN partners are the news organizations The Associated Press and Reuters. Plus, the company is also launching its own news product, dubbed MSN News.

The new MSN goes live on Oct. 26, to coincide with rollout of Windows 8.