News is out : MSN Dial-Up, MSN Direct, and MSN TV are going to end their services. By January 20th, support for all 3 MSN services will end.
Due to lack of demand for MSN 9 Dial-Up, MSN Direct, MSN TV have to die.
It’s not like they were good anyways.
MSN Dial-Up =====================================
Dial-Up is dead. Nobody has time to wait a couple of minutes for a page to load up. It’s either no internet, or DSL/Cable. But definitely not dial-up : You’ll regret it. Also, MSN Dial-Up is very intrusive, and too tightly tied around ‘the old MSN’. It’s like Microsoft hasn’t touched it since years ago. In modern day, MSN Dial-Up fails. So that’s adios to MSN 9 Dial-Up.
MSN Direct ======================================
This never took off like Microsoft imagined. Microsoft was imaging this as a way towards the future. You’re wristwatch could display a bunch of neat info., right on your arm. Problem is, wristwatches are losing functionality to cell phones. Cell phones can tell time, and do a whole multitude of tasks than the boring old wristwatch. (to tell you the truth, I still wear a wristwatch, for style, but I definitely see no need for a MSN Direct kind of service at all). The Spot watches received channels of info from MSN services, through a digital FM radio based technology. However, they are rather unappealing, and it only displays in black and white monochrome. And most of these ‘channels’ are just small basic things a quik web search could do. There were also GPS unit devices, and even a coffee maker, but those too really don’t need a MSN Direct service. So it died. – Mainly due to the ongoing invention of the cell phone.
MSN TV =========================================
MSN TV was a big waste. Browsing the internet from your TV? Are you kidding? They invented computers for a reason. Browsing from the TV is such a pain. Even the Wii Opera browser isn’t as interesting as a real internet browser. These days, people need PC’s. MSN TV was meant to be a solution to having to buy a PC for internet. But you might as well buy a computer if you need the internet – it’s what they’re made for.
So they all are going to die, because of the fact that nobody needs them anymore. I’m glad they’re gone. They were just a waste.
MSN Premium is going to get a fix-up. There’s been complaints about how customers are being charged around $10 a month for relatively low-end features available for free on other sites. In other words, it appears worthless.
Most of what is revised, is just simply the transition from old MSN services, to new Windows Live services. The price, not surprisingly will be raised to $14.99 a month. But it does contain some neat stuff, that’s worth the price.
Some fixes (and switches) include:
- Windows Live Hotmail Plus – Finally. Now Windows Live Hotmail Plus is offered for free with it. Currently, MSN Premium customers had to stay with the old MSN Hotmail, not the new Windows Live Hotmail. They haven’t got much goodness out of that. Considering that Hotmail Plus is around $20, and the new MSN Premium is around $15, they’re really getting a bang for their buck.
- Windows Live OneCare – As long as you stay subscribed to MSN Premium, you’ll also get access to Windows Live OneCare for free. This will replace MSN Premium’s so called protection (McAfee, Spy Sweeper, petty stuff etc.) which OneCare and Live Hotmail already do.
- Windows Live Family Safety – replaces the old MSN Parental Controls
- Windows Live Photo Gallery – replaces the old Microsoft Digital Image Standard software and other photo-fixing software
- No need for MSN Explorer – MSN explorer is dead. I used it before, and I saw no reason to switch from IE7. It’s just a regular web browser, but MSN-ified. And that’s not something any person would want, unless they’re really dull.
- Windows Live Suite – a free offer given when first installed
Otherwise than that, some of the other services (if any more) will remain the same. If it hasn’t already been succeed by a Windows Live offering.
Microsoft is also considering getting rid of the MSN Premium name, and just becoming Windows Live Premium all together. The MSN services are just really old, never got updated, and now Windows Live is taking over. So it makes more sense for it to discontinue the old MSN Premium name.
Microsoft is also in talks with AT&T to provide partnered internet services with AT&T and replacing Yahoo!. As soon as Yahoo!’s contract with AT&T is finished (in 08′), AT&T could either switch over to do Windows Live services, or renew their contract with Y! again.
The possible partnership with AT&T and Windows Live, won’t kill with AT&T splashes all over Windows Live sites, like Y!’s was. Unlike that messy thing, AT&T and Windows Live will remain as separate identities, with just AT&T redirecting you to Windows Live services.
In other words, you won’t see AT&T take over the look of your e-mail, or what you do and stuff. It just takes/offers you Windows Live services, as part of their member. That’s it.
This is a pretty big deal. AT&T and Microsoft are both big-shot companies in their line of business, and a partnership will raise eyebrows. Microsoft does share AT&T’s Charles Noski on their Board of Directors. So it wouldn’t surprise me if AT&T would except a deal from Microsoft.
All of this comes from MSN/Windows Live consolidating their services/products, and making it much more easier to go through than to have multiple services/products that do a bad job. This is good news, as obviously they’re now getting on the ball. It’s not clear when the new MSN Premium will be launched out, but it’s expected around the end of this year. As for the other old MSN services, customers will get a notification to start planning ahead, and support will end on January 30, 2008.
UPDATE : Seems as if Microsoft didn’t go though with their plans. I guess these MSN services are still here. Though this is my pure opinion : These services have got to go. There’s other free services (even from Windows Live) that outdo what these MSN services do, and it might not be long before Microsoft takes this part of MSN down. Despite some of the few people I’ve seen have appreciation for this.