A year after Microsoft merged MSN with Bing Apps and laid off dozens of writers at the online news portal, the company is showing off the results of its strategic efforts with a redesigned MSN.com.
The new MSN will feature a lot of the same verticals as before, such as news, sports, celebrities and autos, but will include interactive content around travel, food and drink, and health and fitness. Social media apps like Twitter and Facebook, as well as Microsoft's Skype, will be accessible directly through MSN.
A beta version of MSN is launching today for the Web and Windows phones, with plans to have it fully rolled out by the end of September. Brian MacDonald, Microsoft's corporate vice president for information and content, says the company plans to release optimized MSN apps for iOS and Android by the end of the year.