We have overheard (literally) a conversation that refers to a massive change at MSN, Microsoft’s beleaguered all-singing, all-dancing online destination.
According to that unwitting source, that will happen on Monday 22 October and will, possibly mark the start of the most important week ever for Microsoft with Windows 8, Windows RT, Surface and Windows Phone 8 launching between 22 and 29 October.
A two-prong, strategic and aesthetic change to MSN (which stands for Microsoft Network) would fall in line with what the groundwork Microsoft has been doing over the past few months.
The most notable of which has been Hotmail which is on the way out with Outlook.com gradually taking over, a change that has been accompanied with some radical design and process alterations. Ditto for Zune, its media ecosystem destined to rival iTunes, which will be integrated into the popular, consumer-facing brand Xbox.
We strongly suspect that Microsoft will try to turn around the fortunes of MSN by refocusing on making it a go-to destination, a good old portal, one which is strong both on content and services, like its alter ego Yahoo.
Expect the new MSN to come with more content (written, video, audio and gaming) and better integration between its plethora of services (Skype, Outlook.com, Bing, Skydrive and Xbox).
The site still attracts some significant traffic, being the default home page for Internet Explorer browsers, ranking 17th on Alexa’s global rating ahead of eBay and Microsoft.com.