Anchor Desk: Why MSN is smarter than AOL

David Coursey
Executive Editor, AnchorDesk
Writing about the big online services is harder than it used to be. There’s so much to them these days that they dramatically change in appearance depending on where you’re sitting.
I’M THINKING ABOUT this because, last week at CES, with help from Jay Leno, Bill Gates introduced a new version of MSN. Also known as MSN 9, it consists of a redesign of the free, plus MSN Premium, a for-pay superset of services and software optimized for broadband.
That introduction only underscored the reason I don’t normally write about MSN: To an even greater degree than Yahoo or AOL, it’s hard to say exactly what it is. Depending on how you look at it, MSN is a community, a Web portal, a mailbox, a set of applications, an instant messaging client…and the list goes on.
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