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The meaning of «msn»

Microsoft Start, previously named MSN (meaning Microsoft Network) is a web portal and related collection of Internet services and apps for Windows and mobile devices, provided by Microsoft and launched on August 24, 1995, the same release date as Windows 95.[2]

The Microsoft Network was initially a subscription-based dial-up online service that later became an Internet service provider named MSN Dial-up. At the same time, the company launched a new web portal named Microsoft Internet Start and set it as the first default home page of Internet Explorer, its web browser. In 1998, Microsoft renamed and moved this web portal to the domain name www.msn.com, where it has remained.[3]

In addition to its original MSN Dial-up service, Microsoft has used the 'MSN' brand name for a wide variety of products and services over the years, notably Hotmail (later Outlook.com), Messenger (which was once synonymous with 'MSN' in Internet slang and has now been replaced by Skype), and its web search engine, which is now Bing, and several other rebranded and discontinued services.

The current website and suite of apps offered by MSN was first introduced by Microsoft in 2014 as part of a complete redesign and relaunch.[4] MSN is based in the United States and offers international versions of its portal for dozens of countries around the world.[5]

From 1995 to 1998, the MSN.com domain was used by Microsoft primarily to promote MSN as an online service and Internet service provider. At the time, MSN.com also offered a custom start page and an Internet tutorial, but Microsoft's major web portal was known as "Microsoft Internet Start", and was located at home.microsoft.com.

Internet Start served as the default home page for Internet Explorer and offered basic information such as news, weather, sports, stocks, entertainment reports, links to other websites on the Internet, articles by Microsoft staff members, and software updates for Windows. Microsoft's original news website, https://msnbc.com (now NBCNews.com), which launched in 1996, was also tied closely to the Internet Start portal.

In 1998, the largely underutilized 'MSN.com' domain name was combined with Microsoft Internet Start and reinvented as both a web portal and as the brand for a family of sites produced inside Microsoft's Interactive Media Group. The new website put MSN in direct competition with sites such as Yahoo!, Excite, and Go Network. Because the new format opened up MSN's content to the world for free, the Internet service provider and subscription service were renamed to MSN Internet Access at that time. (That service eventually became known as MSN Dial-up.)[3]

The relaunched MSN.com contained a whole family of sites, including original content, channels that were carried over from 'web shows' that were part of Microsoft's MSN 2.0 experiment with its Internet service provider in 1996–97, and new features that were rapidly added. MSN.com became the successor to the default Internet Explorer start page, as all of the previous 'Microsoft Internet Start' website was merged with MSN.com.[3]

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