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MSN gains new Maghreb portal

Personalised news and entertainment in French for Morocco, Tunisia and Algeria

Microsoft has launched a new French-language Maghreb portal for its MSN service, which will provide up-to-the-minute news and entertainment for its users in Morocco, Tunisia and Algeria.

The new portal's accessible at www.maghreb.msn.com

The project is a joint venture with LINKdotNET, managing operators of MSN Arabia and a subsidiary of Orascom. The announcement was made by Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer and Orascom board member Khaled Bichara at a press conference in Skhirat earlier today.

The companies have stated that their co-operation forms a combination of the local media expertise of LINKdotNET with the global expertise and content relationships of Microsoft.

At the conference Balmer commented that “With a large population of young people who are making the online world a bigger and bigger part of their daily lives… the Maghreb region is a very attractive market for Microsoft. By integrating MSN and Windows Live, MSN Maghreb will provide seamless access to compelling content and services and deliver a large and engaged audience for local advertisers”

Orascom CEO Naguib Sawiris added: “The rapid growth of the Internet has created an extremely sophisticated market in the Maghreb region, one which expects new, creative and interactive online services. The market is primed for the kind of rich, interactive services that the MSN Maghreb portal offers and will became a daily part of how online users work, live and play.”

Microsoft and LINKdotNET launched the first MSN regional portal, MSN Arabia, way back in October 2001. The site is now attracting two million page views a day as the region’s 2.7 million Hotmail subscribers log in to MSN.

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