Do you expect more
programs like Picture It! to be added to MSN in the future?
While we’re not
discussing future versions of MSN at this time, we can say that MSN is
absolutely focused on providing consumers with the best possible online
experience by delivering a comprehensive set of services, technologies
and features. As with the current version of MSN, we will continue to
update our offering based on direct feedback from our customers and
their needs, emerging trends and on smart business practices.
Will there be other
updates of MSN for the Mac?
MSN for Mac OS X
Internet Software is currently available and offers advanced
communication tools, powerful and innovative integrated software,
enhanced online security tools, and dedicated Mac Support 24 hours a
day, 7 days a week. More information can be found at
MSN Premium, we are constantly making improvements to our services on a
regular basis and will continue to do so.
Where do you see the
future of MSN going from here?
We believe the market
is poised for continued broadband adoption and growth and that there is
a direct relational need for software services that enable customers to
get the most out of their high-speed, always on connection. While we
delivered a comprehensive set of powerful software and services in MSN
Premium to help customers have a more protected environment while online
and take advantage of powerful e-mail and photo sharing capabilities,
there will always be exciting new opportunities. MSN will always focus
on delivering quality services, convenience and value for our
customers. Beyond that we will continue to gather feedback from our
customers and watch emerging trends to ensure we’re delivering the
optimal set of software services for customers to maximize their
How long was MSN
Premium in development?
Development on MSN
Premium had begun before we completed MSN 8 in October 2002 and we were
able to incorporate a lot of feedback and input from our customers
between the release of MSN 8 and MSN Premium. The MSN Premium launch
included not only the release of premium broadband services software,
but also the launch of the new MSN.com, MyMSN.com and MSN Video
Looking back, how do you
think MSN progressed to its current version from the days of MSN 1.x?
Back in August of 1995
when MSN first launched, the Internet was only beginning to be a
consumer accessible information tool and when customers accessed it they
were doing so via dial-up connections. MSN at that time was focused on
providing customers with a way to get online by offering dial-up service
and content to act as starting points to help them find their way on the
Internet. The MSN you see today is a progression of our vision to
deliver useful services to our consumers and also to acknowledge the
shift to broadband and the providers that best deliver that.
the MSN.com homepage has been designed to enhance consumer’s broadband
experience with a streamlined interface, broadband content and easier
navigation, plus easy access to the features consumers use the most.
The MyMSN home page provides convenient access to customers personal
online content with more than 150 drag and drop content modules offering
personalized news, traffic and weather reports, music and entertainment
information, from leading partners, including eBay, weather.com, and
NBC. Premium Web services, like MSN Premium and MSN Plus, provide
consumers with a range of choices for making the most of their broadband
connection. For instance MSN Premium delivers communication tools,
persistent online protection, and digital lifestyle management in a
Can you share any
hilarious or outlandish moments that occurred during the development of
While not necessarily
hilarious, with the help of our beta testers we did have some moments of
enlightenment during the development of MSN Premium which helped drive
home the need to always listen to the customer and the value of their
input. Two great examples are the “Share Photos” button in MSN Mail and
the ability to view multiple POP3 or Hotmail/MSN accounts in their own
folders in the MSN Mail client. These were features we had overlooked
and by listening to the direct feedback from our beta customers we
implemented these features in the final weeks of development and really
helped create an easier to use and more powerful MSN experience.
How many subscribers does
MSN have currently?
Our overall subscriber
number is 8 million worldwide subscriptions. This number includes both
access and our premium subscription services numbers, which includes
services like MSN Premium, MSN Plus, MSN TV, MSN Extra Storage, and MSN
Radio Plus, among others.
Additionally, MSN is available in 38 markets and 18 languages, more than
any other international web service. More than 350 million unique users
visit the MSN network each month worldwide. MSN Hotmail and MSN
Messenger attract 145 million and more than 110 million unique users per
Do you feel that you are
aiming the service directly to broadband users and no longer toward dial
up, or do you still feel that dial up users are as important to you?
Over the last year, we
realized that our future lies with our core competency as a company –
developing great software and services – and the time was right to make
a big bet for consumers. That bet is broadband. Not broadband access,
but providing the best software and services to help customers make the
most of their high-speed connection by empowering them with great tools
that open the doors to new scenarios while making them more efficient.
MSN remains in the dial-up Internet access business and we will continue
to as long as it is a viable business with customer demand for these
services. We continue to innovate here as well -- we recently released
MSN 9 Dial-up with MSN Dial-up Accelerator to help our dial-up customers
continue to get the most out of the web.
When do you expect the
service to be available worldwide?
MSN Premium and Plus
are available in the US now. MSN will being MSN Premium to more than a
dozen markets this year. MSN 8 is available today in 9 countries
worldwide, including the US, Canada, Japan, UK, France, Germany, Spain,
Mexico, and Australia and we will bring MSN Premium to those markets
this year as well as new ones. MSN does not have specific International
launch dates to share at this time.
How much of a success do
you expect the pop up guard to become?
We’re really proud of
the pop-up guard that’s part of MSN Premium. Unlike most pop-up guards
that just block pop-ups, we developed our technology to actually enable
customers to manage their pop-ups. MSN’s Pop-up Guard is personalized
with customized settings, so customers see a more pleasant,
uninterrupted online experience while blocking only unwanted pop-up
ads. This ensures that they can view the pop-up ads that interest them,
such as special offers or coupons. Customers can choose from multiple
pop-up settings – they can turn the guard off, set it to block
everything except pop-ups from specified sites, or they can choose to
filter your pop-ups. If a customer chooses to filter pop-ups they’ll
briefly see a tiny thumbnail of a pop-up in the upper right hand corner
of their MSN browser. If that pop-up turned out to be something they
wanted – including things like a “free shipping” coupon from a company,
or a seating chart from a web site that sells concert or theater tickets
– the customer can go back and access that pop-up.
customers are telling us they love the flexibility of our pop-up guard.
Estimates for pop-up blocker use in the industry range from ~20% usage
in early 2004 up to potentially 60-80% usage in early 2005.
Do you have anything else
The New MSN services
have been designed through working closely with over 25,000 customers,
with over 150,000 pieces of feedback guiding the development of the new
of this we feel that MSN Premium offers a strong value proposition for
consumers by offering the best online experience through better online
safety and service options. People want more than their online
connection – they also want to seamlessly communicate with others and
easily access the information that matters most to them, while in a
secure environment. We know that many of these customers (around 35%)
already pay for a premium Web service today (mostly AV protection), and
we want them to know that there is a comprehensive package of services
available that addresses all of their needs at a great price.
ActiveWin.com MSN Premium Review
Links to MSN
MyMSN Homepage and MSN Premium
MSN Shared Calendar Features
MSN Pop-Up Guard
MSN Mail with Multiple Account
MSN Photo E-mail
Interested in doing an interview?
contact us for more information.