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MSN
MSN
DIAL-UP is an Internet
Internet
service provider operated by Microsoft
Microsoft
in the United States
United States
and formerly also in several other countries. Originally named THE MICROSOFT NETWORK, it debuted as a proprietary online service on August 24, 1995, to coincide with the release of Windows 95
Windows 95
. In 1996 and 1997, a revised web-based version of the ISP was an early experiment at interactive multimedia content on the Internet
Internet
.

Microsoft
Microsoft
renamed the service MSN
MSN
INTERNET ACCESS in 1998, focusing its main ' MSN
MSN
' brand on its web portal of the same name, MSN.com . Today, the company still provides dial-up Internet
Internet
access under the name ' MSN
MSN
Dial-up' for those who cannot access high-speed broadband . For several years, MSN
MSN
was the second largest dial-up ISP in the United States
United States
behind longtime leader AOL
AOL
, but very few people in the U.S. still rely on dial-up.

Along with dial-up service, MSN
MSN
provides its subscribers with an @msn.com email account to use with Outlook.com and security software such as firewall and anti-virus programs. It also offers these extra features as a standalone subscription service for users of broadband Internet
Internet
access named ' MSN
MSN
Premium'.

CONTENTS

* 1 Early history

* 1.1 The Microsoft
Microsoft
Network * 1.2 MSN
MSN
2.0 * 1.3 MSN
MSN
2.5 * 1.4 MSN
MSN
2.6 and 5.0

* 2 MSN
MSN
Explorer

* 2.1 Version history

* 2.1.1 MSN
MSN
6 and 7 * 2.1.2 MSN
MSN
8 and 9 * 2.1.3 MSN
MSN
10 * 2.1.4 MSN
MSN
11

* 2.2 MSN
MSN
for Mac OS X * 2.3 MSN
MSN
Premium

* 3 International * 4 See also * 5 References * 6 External links

EARLY HISTORY

THE MICROSOFT NETWORK

MSN
MSN
Classic sign-in screen MSN
MSN
Central

The concept for MSN
MSN
was created by the Advanced Technology Group at Microsoft, headed by Nathan Myhrvold
Nathan Myhrvold
. MSN
MSN
was originally conceived as a subscription-based dial-up online service and proprietary content provider like America Online or CompuServe . Then officially known as 'The Microsoft
Microsoft
Network', version 1.0 of the service launched along with Windows 95
Windows 95
on August 24, 1995.

The Microsoft
Microsoft
Network was originally presented through an artificial folder-like graphical user interface integrated into the Windows Explorer file management program, with a home page named 'MSN Central'. Categories on MSN
MSN
appeared like folders in the file system. The interface was designed by Clement Mok and employed high color graphics .

MSN
MSN
was included with Windows 95
Windows 95
installations and promoted through Windows and other Microsoft
Microsoft
software released at the time. Product support and discussion was offered through the MSN
MSN
service, as well as information such as news and weather, basic email capabilities, chat rooms , and message boards similar to newsgroups . It also offered access to the Internet
Internet
via Internet
Internet
Explorer .

There was debate in the media as to whether MSN
MSN
would be an 'Internet killer', and some companies hedged their bets for the first year, creating content both on MSN
MSN
and the World Wide Web
World Wide Web
. However, MSN launched too late to be a real threat to the web. Following Bill Gates ' internal ' Internet
Internet
Tidal Wave memo', which refocused Microsoft
Microsoft
to be Internet-centric, MSN
MSN
began to move its content to the web and promote itself more actively as an Internet
Internet
service provider .

Following the release of MSN
MSN
2.0 in 1996, Microsoft
Microsoft
renamed its original proprietary online service ' MSN
MSN
Classic'. Microsoft eventually shut down any remaining access to the MSN
MSN
Classic service in 1998.

MSN
MSN
2.0

The MSN
MSN
Preview on YouTube
YouTube
was a mock premiere event, with host 'Michael' Feature demo in the MSN
MSN
Preview MSN
MSN
2.0 Program Viewer

In 1996, in response to the increasing relevancy and rapid growth of the World Wide Web
World Wide Web
, Microsoft
Microsoft
created a new version of MSN, called ' MSN
MSN
2.0', which combined access to the Internet
Internet
with web-based multimedia content in a new program known as the ' MSN
MSN
Program Viewer.' The service was promoted to existing MSN
MSN
subscribers beginning October 10, 1996; the general release followed on December 10, 1996.

Microsoft
Microsoft
promoted MSN
MSN
2.0 with a series of advertisements and promotional materials describing the service with the phrase, "Every new universe begins with a big bang." The company offered the initial release of the new MSN
MSN
2.0 service on a CD-ROM
CD-ROM
that it sent to MSN subscribers in the fall of 1996. When inserted, the CD-ROM
CD-ROM
opened to the ambitious and flashy ' MSN
MSN
Preview', an interactive video-based experience that introduced current and prospective subscribers to the new version of MSN
MSN
and described the features of the MSN
MSN
2.0 software.

The MSN
MSN
Preview was filmed at the Paramount Theatre
Theatre
in Seattle
Seattle
and was formatted as a guided tour of a mock premiere event for the new MSN. It was hosted by a witty and sarcastic character named 'Michael' who welcomed viewers outside of the theatre and then guided them through the theatre to meet several other characters, each of whom represented one of the channels of MSN
MSN
2.0's 'On Stage' area, the main platform for interactive multimedia content in MSN
MSN
2.0.

A handful of uncredited actors appeared in the MSN
MSN
Preview, including then-unknown actress Anna Faris
Anna Faris
, who represented 'Channel 5', which was described as "media , zines , attitude "; it was targeted at Generation X
Generation X
and college -age members. The preview also included its own jazz and pop music loop that played during the installation process.

Once installed, members accessed MSN
MSN
content through the MSN
MSN
Program Viewer, which was essentially an animated, stylized and streamlined interface on top of an Internet
Internet
Explorer 3.0 web browser. When members signed in, they would be presented with several different 'Channels', which were categories for the various types of content available on MSN.

These channels included new services that launched in 1996 such as msnbc.com , a news website now known as NBCNews.com that began as a partnership between Microsoft
Microsoft
and NBC
NBC
; and Slate , an online magazine focused on politics and current events. Both websites were available to all Internet
Internet
users and still exist today, although they are no longer owned by Microsoft. Also integrated into MSN
MSN
2.0 shortly after its launch was Microsoft's popular Internet
Internet
Gaming Zone , which later became MSN
MSN
Games .

Interactive multimedia content was presented in a TV-like format, dubbed MSN
MSN
shows, as part of the 'On Stage' section. The many shows and sites included an interactive online nightly game show called 'Netwits', a snarky website addressing women's issues called 'UnderWire', and a regular celebrity interview and web-surfing session called 'One Click Away'.

These new destinations supplemented other Microsoft
Microsoft
web-based services such as CarPoint and Expedia , which were branded within MSN as 'Essentials'. An additional 'Communicate' section was based around email , chat rooms (which were branded MSN
MSN
Chat and moved to the standard IRC protocol), and newsgroups (which were moved to Usenet from a proprietary architecture), while a 'Find' section was dedicated to searching MSN
MSN
content and the rest of the Internet; it also provided a calendar of upcoming events and new shows on MSN.

The new content made extensive use of multimedia and interactive features, including VBScript and early implementations of Macromedia Shockwave Flash (originally called 'FutureSplash') for animations.

While the MSN
MSN
shows approach was unique and innovative, the content was not easily accessible by members with low-end computers and slower dial-up connections. High-speed Internet
Internet
access was not widely available at the time, and some users subscribed to monthly dial-up plans that limited the number of hours during which they were allowed to access the service. The MSN
MSN
2.0 software was also unstable and would often quit unexpectedly.

In addition to MSN
MSN
2.0's speed and stability issues, existing MSN subscribers were concerned the transition to MSN
MSN
2.0 would break up communities that were established via the MSN
MSN
Classic message boards and chat rooms. Their concerns were confirmed when Microsoft announced plans to close the entire MSN
MSN
Classic service. As a result of all these issues, a website called 'The Official msNOT Hate Site' originated as a negative response to the new MSN
MSN
2.0 software. The website claimed Microsoft
Microsoft
patently ignored feedback from concerned members and censored anyone who spoke out against the upgrade; it further charged the company's handling of the transition to MSN
MSN
2.0 was "insensitive and ethically questionable." Microsoft
Microsoft
denied it attempted to silence those who expressed concern about the upgrade. The website also mocked the music loop that played during the MSN
MSN
2.0 installation process because it repeated the phrase "too stupid to stop."

Ultimately, the ambitious use of web-based and interactive multimedia content on the Internet
Internet
during 1996 and 1997 proved to be ahead of its time, and the MSN
MSN
2.0 service was not as successful as Microsoft initially hoped. The company returned to the drawing board for its next MSN
MSN
release.

MSN
MSN
2.5

In 1997, after abandoning the interactive multimedia format, the MSN service was again refocused, this time as a more traditional Internet access service. With the release of MSN
MSN
2.5 (code named 'Metro' and sometimes referred to in marketing materials as ' MSN
MSN
Premier') in late 1997, some exclusive MSN
MSN
branded content was still offered through the MSN
MSN
Program Viewer, but the service primarily directed members to traditional text-based websites that anyone on the Internet
Internet
could access, instead of interactive shows.

Beginning with MSN
MSN
2.5, email service for MSN
MSN
members was moved from a proprietary Microsoft
Microsoft
Exchange environment that powered email for both MSN
MSN
Classic and MSN
MSN
2.0, to standard POP3 and SMTP
SMTP
protocols that could be accessed via any Internet
Internet
email program, including Microsoft's own Internet
Internet
Mail and News , which became Outlook Express with the introduction of Internet
Internet
Explorer 4.0 . MSN
MSN
also launched 'Friends Online', a predecessor to the MSN
MSN
Messenger Service that allowed members to add each other as friends, see each other's online presence and send instant messages to one another. Accompanying the MSN
MSN
Program Viewer in MSN
MSN
2.5 was ' MSN
MSN
Quick Launch', an icon inside the Windows notification area . Like the MSN
MSN
Program Viewer in MSN 2.0, the menu in MSN
MSN
Quick Launch could be dynamically updated to guide members to updated MSN
MSN
content and services.

MSN
MSN
2.6 AND 5.0

With the release of MSN
MSN
2.6 in 1998, Microsoft
Microsoft
renamed the service ' MSN
MSN
Internet
Internet
Access', and the MSN
MSN
Program Viewer was abandoned entirely in favor of the more familiar Internet
Internet
Explorer . Another new version of the service, MSN
MSN
Internet
Internet
Access 5.0, was released along with Internet
Internet
Explorer 5.0 in 1999. MSN
MSN
5.0 was largely identical to MSN
MSN
2.6, aside from offering the newer version of the browser.

Also in 1998, Microsoft
Microsoft
relaunched its Microsoft
Microsoft
Internet
Internet
Start web portal as MSN.com and began to focus on offering services under the 'MSN' brand name to users of other Internet
Internet
service providers. Building on the success of MSN's web-based email service, Hotmail (which was acquired by Microsoft
Microsoft
in December 1997), the MSN
MSN
Messenger Service for instant messaging was launched in 1999. Unlike the 'Friends Online' service bundled with MSN
MSN
2.5 that required an MSN membership, anyone with a free Microsoft
Microsoft
Passport or Hotmail
Hotmail
account could use MSN
MSN
Messenger.

MSN
MSN
EXPLORER

MSN
MSN
Explorer

DEVELOPER(S) Microsoft
Microsoft

STABLE RELEASE 11.61.0064.1300 / April 25, 2017

DEVELOPMENT STATUS Active

OPERATING SYSTEM Windows 10
Windows 10
, Windows 8.1 , Windows 8
Windows 8
, Windows 7
Windows 7
, Windows Vista
Windows Vista
, and Windows XP
Windows XP

PLATFORM Microsoft
Microsoft
Windows

WEBSITE membercenter.msn.com

With the release of Windows XP
Windows XP
in 2001 (which also brought with it Internet
Internet
Explorer 6.0 ), Microsoft
Microsoft
began to offer content for MSN Internet
Internet
Access subscribers through a program called MSN
MSN
Explorer. This program is similar to the early MSN
MSN
Program Viewer in that it provides access to MSN
MSN
websites, email , instant messaging , and other content on top of a web browser (an Internet
Internet
Explorer shell ) based on the Trident layout engine . MSN
MSN
Explorer is similar to AOL
AOL
Desktop , which also has a built-in email client and provides access to content for AOL
AOL
members.

Upon the transition to MSN
MSN
Explorer, email for MSN
MSN
members was integrated into Microsoft's Hotmail
Hotmail
architecture and could be accessed from the web the same way as any other Hotmail
Hotmail
account. MSN
MSN
Explorer provided a user interface for navigating one's @msn.com email inbox and folders, also known as ' MSN
MSN
Mail', until the migration of Hotmail to the Windows Live brand. MSN
MSN
subscribers were upgraded to the standard version of Hotmail
Hotmail
in 2008, but with additional storage capacity compared to free Hotmail
Hotmail
users. Microsoft
Microsoft
phased out Hotmail and replaced it with Outlook.com in 2013, but MSN
MSN
subscribers still receive @msn.com email addresses to use with the service ad-free. Former members can continue to use those addresses with Outlook.com after ending their subscriptions.

VERSION HISTORY

MSN
MSN
6 And 7

An early pre-release \'beta\' of MSN
MSN
Explorer, labeled version 1.1, was originally included with Windows code name \'Whistler\' build 2410, which became Windows XP
Windows XP
. Server versions of the beta did not include it. The final release, MSN
MSN
Explorer version 6.0 (officially numbered to follow the last release of the older MSN
MSN
5.0 software), was built into Windows XP
Windows XP
with its release in October 2001. Anyone who used Windows XP
Windows XP
could choose to use MSN
MSN
Explorer regardless of their MSN
MSN
membership status. The user interface for MSN
MSN
Explorer matched the visual style of Windows XP
Windows XP
and utilized relatively responsive animations that would not become commonplace in web browsers until HTML5 came along several years later.

Microsoft
Microsoft
began referring to the MSN
MSN
Explorer software as simply 'MSN' beginning with version 7, an update that was rolled out shortly after the initial release of Windows XP. Microsoft
Microsoft
halted development of the free edition of the software in 2002 in favor of a version only available with MSN
MSN
dial-up and premium subscriptions. Versions of MSN Explorer later than 7.5 require a paid subscription, but it is possible to use another Internet
Internet
service provider while accessing content provided through the MSN
MSN
Explorer software. The last free version of the MSN
MSN
software also remained available for download for some time.

MSN
MSN
8 And 9

MSN
MSN
versions 8 and 9 were released in 2002 and 2004 respectively. As of MSN
MSN
version 9, the software began requiring a user to have a Microsoft
Microsoft
account , though depending on the version, it may or may not require an active subscription to other MSN
MSN
services. The interface also includes many Flash animations. Version 9.5 added compatibility with Windows Vista
Windows Vista
. Version 9.6 was released in June 2008 and included revisions necessary for a newer mailbox synchronization technology and to replace the MSN
MSN
Parental Controls menu options with links to the newer Windows Live Family Safety feature.

MSN
MSN
10

Microsoft
Microsoft
began rolling out MSN
MSN
version 10 in November 2009, following the release of Windows 7
Windows 7
. Features included full compatibility with Internet
Internet
Explorer 8 , an integrated spell checker, and the ability to exclude MSN
MSN
Messenger from the installation. Version 10.2 was released in 2011, including photo email integration with SkyDrive (now OneDrive ), the ability to include photos or a photo slideshow with a link so others can download a copy for themselves, and customizable toolbar button groups. Version 10.5 added minor improvements to the MSN
MSN
software; most notably Microsoft
Microsoft
changed its user agent to disguise it as a newer web browser in order to bypass 'outdated browser' warning messages from some websites.

MSN
MSN
11

MSN
MSN
Explorer 11 is the current version, which was released in April 2014 and offers compatibility with Windows 8
Windows 8
and Internet
Internet
Explorer 11 , adds tabbed browsing , and brings back a 'remember me' feature. The software still included an instant messaging client based on Microsoft's Messenger service, even though it had been phased out in favor of Skype
Skype
since 2013. Subsequent releases of MSN
MSN
11 included updated email functionality to maintain compatibility with Outlook.com in version 11.5, and updated logos to match current MSN
MSN
branding in version 11.6.

MSN
MSN
FOR MAC OS X

MSN
MSN
for Mac OS X (now named macOS) was a dial-up client interface to Microsoft's pay-for-access online services for Mac users. The software was, in some respects, comparable to the AOL
AOL
dial-up client given its channel-based interface, built-in chat and instant messaging capabilities, parental controls, and ability to accommodate multiple screen names. It used the Tasman layout engine made for the Mac edition of Internet
Internet
Explorer 5 . It was discontinued in March 2005. After the discontinuation of MSN
MSN
for Mac OS X, Microsoft
Microsoft
continued offering its Microsoft
Microsoft
Messenger for Mac software, an instant messaging -only client that required only a free Microsoft
Microsoft
account for use. As mentioned previously, Skype
Skype
replaced Messenger in 2013.

MSN
MSN
PREMIUM

For customers with high-speed broadband Internet
Internet
access , 'MSN Premium' is a subscription service provided by Microsoft
Microsoft
that combines a number of different Internet
Internet
services , along with firewall and anti-virus software provided by McAfee and Spy Sweeper , into a premium version of MSN
MSN
Explorer. In order to use MSN
MSN
Premium, users subscribe to the service through get.msn.com or previously by acquiring DSL
DSL
through one of MSN's partners, such as Verizon or Qwest (now merged with CenturyLink
CenturyLink
) in the United States
United States
or Bell Internet in Canada
Canada
. Microsoft
Microsoft
also offered premium services with Verizon through the Windows Live brand name beginning in 2006. MSN
MSN
Premium provided through Verizon was disbanded on March 1, 2012, and users could no longer use MSN
MSN
Premium with Verizon after that date.

INTERNATIONAL

Microsoft
Microsoft
has extended its MSN
MSN
dial-up Internet
Internet
access service beyond the United States
United States
since 1995, partnering with various telecommunications companies to provide service in numerous areas around the world. A list of international MSN
MSN
affiliates is available at MSN
MSN
Worldwide.

In Canada
Canada
, MSN
MSN
partnered with Bell Sympatico
Bell Sympatico
(the ISP division of Bell Canada
Canada
) creating 'Sympatico / MSN'. In Australia
Australia
, Microsoft originally partnered with Telstra
Telstra
in 1995 with MSN
MSN
branded locally as 'OnAustralia'; when Microsoft
Microsoft
withdrew from the joint venture the following year, Telstra
Telstra
went on to assume 100% ownership and rebrand the service as BigPond . In Mexico
Mexico
, MSN
MSN
partnered with Telmex Prodigy creating 'Prodigy / MSN'. An affiliation with Xtra , Telecom New Zealand 's Internet
Internet
provider, known as Xtra MSN
MSN
ended in 2006.

MSN
MSN
has many offices worldwide for national customer support. It utilizes the service of call centers around the world. Among the countries are the Philippines
Philippines
(technical and customer service), El Salvador (technical and customer support for Spanish -speaking customers), and India
India
(customer service). In 2007, Microsoft
Microsoft
set up a research and development center for MSN
MSN
China , based in Shanghai
Shanghai
's Zizhu Science Park, which hosts technical support for MSN
MSN
services.

SEE ALSO

* MSN
MSN
* List of services by MSN
MSN
* Microsoft
Microsoft
* Microsoft
Microsoft
Windows * Windows 95
Windows 95
* Internet
Internet
Explorer

REFERENCES

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Microsoft
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AOL
revenue, subscribers plummet". ComputerWorld
ComputerWorld
. IDG . Archived from the original on April 10, 2008. Retrieved May 1, 2012. * ^ " AOL
AOL
still has 2.3 million dialup subscribers—and they\'re very profitable". Quartz. August 6, 2014. Retrieved April 11, 2015. * ^ " MSN
MSN
Dial-up: A better way to connect: faster, safer, and smarter". * ^ Robert J. Ambrogi (1995). "First Look: The Microsoft
Microsoft
Network". Retrieved August 7, 2009. * ^ "May 26, 1995: Gates, Microsoft
Microsoft
Jump on \' Internet
Internet
Tidal Wave\'". Wired . Condé Nast
Condé Nast
. May 26, 2010. Retrieved April 10, 2015.

* ^ A B " MSN
MSN
works to find its focus". Archived from the original on June 6, 2007. Retrieved August 7, 2009. * ^ A B C "New Web-Based Version of The Microsoft
Microsoft
Network Debuts". News Center. Microsoft
Microsoft
. October 10, 1996. Retrieved May 1, 2012. * ^ " Microsoft
Microsoft
Announces General Availability of The Microsoft Network". News Center. Microsoft
Microsoft
. December 10, 1996. Retrieved May 1, 2012. * ^ A B "First Look: MSN
MSN
Preview video from 1996". YouTube
YouTube
. July 13, 2006. Retrieved August 7, 2009. * ^ "MSN\'s early Internet
Internet
experiment". tylerc.com. July 13, 2006. Retrieved September 25, 2016. * ^ "Dave Curry - Blog Archive - Spümco\'s Weekend Fur Hunt". June 11, 2006. Archived from the original on January 6, 2009. * ^ "The Ultimate Anna Faris
Anna Faris
Experience: MSN
MSN
2.0 Preview". Annafaris.com. Archived from the original on 2011-05-10. Retrieved 2012-05-01. * ^ A B C D the DDJ staff (February 1, 1997). "Dr. Dobb\'s News & Views 2/1/97: MSN2 Alienates MSN
MSN
Members". Ddj.com. Retrieved May 1, 2012. * ^ "Website Review: \'The Microsoft
Microsoft
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MSN
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MSN
Members Launch Site to Air Grievances". New York Times
New York Times
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Microsoft
Network Previews Service Upgrade". News Center. Microsoft
Microsoft
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MSN
dropping entertainment "shows" and focusing on advertising". Entertainment weekly
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. Retrieved May 1, 2012. * ^ "The Microsoft
Microsoft
Network Announces Significant Service Upgrade Backed by "Million Dollar Madness" Sweepstakes". News Center. Microsoft
Microsoft
. October 13, 1997. Retrieved May 1, 2012. * ^ Paul Thurrott (July 30, 1997). " Microsoft
Microsoft
upgrades MSN
MSN
to version 2.5". ITPro Windows. Retrieved July 21, 2014. * ^ A B " MSN
MSN
Explorer Update History". MSN
MSN
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. Retrieved July 21, 2014. * ^ " Microsoft
Microsoft
to kill