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8/9/2005
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Microsoft Launches MSN Filter

Microsoft Corp. has launched in beta within MSN Spaces a site that offers selected content from the blog-hosting service, as well as from the web and the MSN portal.

Microsoft Corp. has launched in beta within MSN Spaces a site that offers blogs on content areas such as music and sports.

Called MSN Filter, the service organizes the content under five categories, which also include lifestyle, technology and TV. On Tuesday, the service offered blogs on how to get a boyfriend, pop singers Marc Cohn and Nick Cannon and the N.Y. Giants football training camp.

The service is difficult define because it's a "work in progress," Joe Wilcox, analyst for JupiterResearch said.

"What Microsoft has done is hire bloggers who are experts in different areas, and given them free reign to write about those topics," Wilcox said.

In general, Filter is generating interest in Spaces, as well as generating content for Microsoft, which could be valuable in the future, Wilcox said. Gawker Media, for example, has been successful in building a network of bloggers writing on specific topics.

At this point, however, it's hard to say what direction the site will take, Wilcox said.

Features within MSN Filter include the ability to post comments, receive alerts on the desktop, phone or by email when new content is posted; and to receive updates through RSS feeds to a newsreader or the My MSN personalized homepage.

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