MSN coming to Mac OS X

Microsoft Corp.'s Macintosh Business Unit (MacBU) on Thursday will announce its intention to bring its MSN service to Mac OS X in early 2003. Available to users in the United States, the service's application will build on the core technologies found in existing Microsoft Mac OS X products.

The MacBU and Microsoft's MSN division will offer Macintosh users three options to signup for the MSN service: Broadband, dialup and a subscription if you want to access MSN using your existing Internet Service Provider. Several pricing options are available for the service depending on where you live and various other factors.

When it becomes available in 2003, MSN will feature free 24-hour Mac specific customer support via phone, e-mail or the Web, as well as an application built from the ground up for Mac OS X. Continuing a commitment made by MacBU General Manager Kevin Browne in April, the newest application from Microsoft's Mac division will only support Mac OS X.

The MacBU will utilize the knowledge and experience it gained when making Microsoft Office v. X and Internet Explorer for OS X. Pieces of these applications will help make up the MSN for Mac OS X application.

"The integrated services will focus on a few key areas, the first being tools to enhance communications," Tim McDonough, director of marketing for the Macintosh Business Unit (MacBU) at Microsoft, told MacCentral. "We are obviously taking our experience from Entourage and building a very robust communication suite of tools under the client for MSN for the Mac. We are also building on our experience with Internet Explorer and making enhancements to that to build a fast, powerful browser integrated into the client."

McDonough also said that bringing Mac specific content to MSN is a priority, although it was too early in the process for him to elaborate on the MacBU's plans in that area.

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