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Microsoft recasts MSN, rolls out Delve search tool

Cloud

Over the last few years Microsoft Corp’s MSN (Microsoft Network) has largely sat in the sidelines as the company pushed other Web-based services and solutions such as Bing and Windows Live.

In a surprise move this week, Microsoft made it known that the MSN brand is back.

Of course the collection of Internet web sites and services, which debuted in 1995 along with the release of Windows 95, never really left. MSN remained quite visible as a default homepage for several Internet Explorer versions for some time.

Now Microsoft is rebranding MSN with a new homepage which went live on Monday which also featured several existing and new Bing apps rebranded for MSN.

The site includes current Bing apps such as News, Weather, Sports, Finance and Travel as well as services from Microsoft and social networks like Twitter Facebook.

Information from Bing apps which are now available on Windows 8 and Windows Phone will be synched across MSN.com and the company’s digital assistant Cortana. There are also plans to release MSN apps for iOS and Android mobile operating systems.

In another development, Microsoft has begun the roll out of Delve.

Delve, which was announced in March under the codename Oslo, is an Office 365 application that automatically locates people, files and data that are relevant to a user’s work.

The app uses Office 365’s Office Graph machine learning features to provide the connections with the use of a visual card-based interface. The results of its search are based on analysis of factors such as email message exchanges, OneDrive for Business data, SharePoint Online activity and Yammer interactions.

Delve is available to subscribers of Office 365 Enterprise E1, E3, and E4 plans; as wells as Education A2, A3, and A4 and Government G1, G3 and G4 plans.

Microsoft will offer Delve to Office 365 Business Essentials, Business Premium, Small Business, Small Business Premium and Midsize Business subscribers in January next year.

Microsoft intends to extend Delve’s capability to using email attachments, OneNote content and Lync Online instant messaging and audio/video data.