May 24, 2005
@ 05:28 PM

Paul Thurrott has an interesting series of articles about MSN's past, present and future. In some ways it could be called How MSN Got It's Groove. 

    1. Part One: Beginnings
    2. Part Two: Fly, Butterfly
    3. Part Three: Services That Communicate

The article does a good job of capturing a bunch of the changes that have happened in the organization over time as well as offers some hints as to some of our future plans. My favorite part of the article is this excerpt from its conclusion.

When I speak with people from the Windows division at Microsoft about new product releases, there's always an unspoken assumption that I won't see these people again for many months or even years. With MSN, it's sort of a running joke that I'll often be speaking with them just days later. They just have so much going on.

And we have a bunch of stuff planned for this year. The recently announced MSN Virtual Earth is just one of many cool things we'll be shipping this year.


Tuesday, May 24, 2005 9:36:25 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)
Typo. It's Paul Thurrot, not Phil.
Tuesday, May 24, 2005 11:58:23 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)
Thanks for pointing that out. I've fixed the typo.
Friday, May 27, 2005 11:24:15 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)
great article, but, as always, no mention of MSN Explorer (well, ok, it was mentioned in passing, but there was no talk of it).

i don't get it-- don't get me wrong, i love Messenger and Hotmail and Spaces and Encarta are great-- but MSN Explorer converges all that goodness plus way more. if MSN is so hip on helping users, why not invest more effort into MSN Explorer? take my mom for example. before i set her up with MEx, she knew how to get to to check email and, if i saw that she was online and messenged her, she could figure out how to reply. but that was it... she is just too afraid of technology to start up messenger herself or even really use the internet.

now, with MEx, she clicks on the butterfly and is immediately told which of her kids are on messenger; she can look at family pictures on her dashboard coming in from our family group; if she needs to look up a spelling, Encarta Dictionary is right there; all of her email accounts are one click away (no way in hell would i ever be able to get her to use OutlookExpress); if she needs a map, MSN Maps & Directions; she even feels comfortable organizing her photos with the nicely tied-in PictureIt.
honestly, if MSN hadn't released this thing, i probably would have bought her a Mac and a .mac account.

so what's the deal? why is there no MEx community? no MEx bloggers? is there even a MEx project? it has so much potential, yet i never hear what's coming down the pipe. sometimes i wonder if the MSN Explorer is being led out to pasture and i'll have to start using my Mac for all things Web.
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