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MSN revamps India portal; adds 4 new channels, extra features

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MUMBAI: Portal MSN India is celebrating six years in the country. On this occasion it has launched a new home page with four channels - lifestyle, entertainment, news and sports. It has also added new feature rich services -- Windows Live Domains, Windows Live Messenger and Windows Live Search.

MSN country head Jaspreet Bindra says that the home page has a more vibrant and friendly user interface. The graphics have been improved upon. ?As part of our six-year celebration, MSN India decided to give our users something to celebrate about as well. We now have a new cool and exciting home page. In addition to this, we bring in four new improved channels that offer users the best insight on Entertainment, News, Sports and Lifestyle. We have also decided to launch a whole new range of Windows Live products for the users in India,? he says.

The entertainment section has news on Bollywood, Hollywood and South Indian movies. There are also reviews of movies currently running in theatres as well as music reviews.

The sports channel covers all the latest happenings in sport from cricket to football and tennis. There is also a news in pics section. There is also a player search section. This allows a user to search for sites featuring sporting icons.

The lifestyle section offers information on fashion, health and fitness. It also provides tit bits on how to carry yourself at work and how to improve one's relationship.

The fourth channel, which is the news and business channel, offers updates on news from acros the globe. There are also polls where users can make their voices be heard. It will of course also cover the ups and downs of the stock market.

MSN is also looking to generate content of its own. For this purpose it has hired a team of writers. It is also looking to get pieces written by experts in different fields. This should be up in about two months time. This will consist of opinions and viewpoints on a variety of topics.

MSN is also hoping to get user generated content. So someone who writes for fun for instance can write a story on an actor. If it gets enough reads then the editorial team can decide to give it a push on the site. It could become one of the main stories in the entertainment section. In addition MSN India is also looking at syndicated content deals.

MSN India has also launched Windows Live Messenger. This is the next generation of MSN messenger and goes beyond text and helps people connect wiith voice, video etc. MSN India has also introduced Live Search. There is a new design, more search categories and also people customise their search results by preferences. For instance one can decide if one wants 10 results in a page or 100.

Another feature is MSN Live Domains. new users can create domain names and then create an unlimited ammount of free email accounts. Everyone on the user's domain gets a hotmail account which can be upgraded to Windows live Mail beta for free. The email addresses on the domain is a passport ID and can be used to access services like instant messenger.

Speaking on Windows Live Domains, MSN India and Windows Live head of programming Krishna Prasad said, ?With MSN?s anniversary celebrations we are also gifting to our users a chance to get their preferred email ids. This email id would be a customised mail id, supported by Windows Live Mail and which also gives the users access to the Windows Live network. All in all, we want to enhance the user experience as best we can.?

Then there is MSN Live Spaces. This is the next generation of MSN's blogging service. Users can manage their settings so that they can control who is in their social network and who views their site.

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