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Microsoft unveils first look of new MSN in UAE

Company also to re-brand Bing apps under revamped MSN

Microsoft unveils first look of new MSN in UAE
The new-look MSN is available in preview mode now.

Microsoft has today unveiled a first look of the new MSN in UAE, which is available on the web and will soon be available across Windows, iOS and Android.

The software maker is also switching the Bing-branded apps that come built-in to Windows 8 and Windows Phone devices to the MSN brand, including news, sports, travel, weather, and finance.

"We have re-written MSN from the ground up for a mobile-first, cloud first world.  The new MSN brings together the world's best media sources along with data and services to enable users to do more," said Brian MacDonald, corporate vice president of information and content experiences at Microsoft.  "The new MSN focuses on the primary digital daily habits in people's lives, helping them complete tasks on the web and across all of their devices, roaming data and personalised settings to keep users in the know wherever they are."

In UAE and across the region, Microsoft has partnered with content providers, including CNN Arabic; Layalina; ArabsTurbo; Sky News Arabia; Aljazeera; Fatafeat, a brand of Discovery Networks;  Eva Halasa Rihani; Drive Arabia;  Manal Alalem; Arabian Business; Time Out Dubai; Ahlan!;  Ahlan! Masala; Construction Week; Channel Middle East; Altibbi and Webteb. Microsoft has also partnered with SyndiGate, who are providing news, editorial articles, photographs and video from over one hundred publishers and content providers in the Middle East and North Africa today.

At the top of the new-look MSN is the "Me Stripe", a bar of shortcuts to social networks, sites and services like Outlook.com, Facebook, Twitter, OneDrive and, coming soon, Skype.

Users can choose from ten sections including sport, news, health and fitness, money, travel, and video to customise what they see and are able to choose topics that they're interested in to get updates from different sources, such as the latest news on "Game of Thrones" or a favourite sports team. Settings and layout can be customised and the changes will automatically appear on all devices.

It is not clear what the re-branding of Bing apps means for the overall Bing brand, and whether Microsoft may attempt to leverage MSN for its search efforts in future.

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