Page last updated at 11:50 GMT, Wednesday, 4 November 2009

Microsoft reveals new-look MSN

New look preview
UK users will see the new-look homepage in 2010.

Microsoft's web portal has been given an extensive revamp for the first time in almost ten years.

New features include fewer links, a column dedicated to social networking sites Twitter and Facebook, and a large search engine box.

The company hopes the new look will drive more traffic to its Bing search engine, launched as a competitor to Google in June 2009.

It will roll out in 2010 with a small group of US users getting access now.

The new site carries links organised into five categories: news, entertainment, sports, money, lifestyle and "more". US users will also be able to get localised information about their area.

Partners supplying content include MSNBC and Fox Sports.

The MSN logo has also been redrawn to more closely resemble that of Bing.

"More than half of people online start their sessions on sites like MSN and they told us they want simplicity - yet still want the latest information and their favourite services delivered together," said Lisa Gurry, senior director at MSN.

In related news, UK users will have access to relaunched online music store MSN Music from 4 November.

It has a library of over 1 million tracks, with payment for downloads operating on a credit-based system.

Users can buy credits in packs of 10 for £7.99. Ten credits will buy one standard album or ten standard singles.

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