Need Lindsay Lohan News? Try MSN - InformationWeek

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Need Lindsay Lohan News? Try MSN

Microsoft is looking for a larger share of the entertainment news and gossip market.

With an eye to capturing a bigger slice of the market for entertainment content, Microsoft on Wednesday launched a service that allows users of its MSN portal to create a home page dedicated to the goings-on around Lindsay Lohan, Britney Spears, George Clooney, and other buzz-worthy celebs.

Microsoft said the new page, a beta version of which is now available, will offer "significantly more entertainment news, gossip, and video." The site will also include links to movie times and other convenient information for entertainment buffs, as well as a direct connection to Microsoft's celebrity-focused Wonderwall destination.

Microsoft in the future also plans to offer home pages customized around other topics. MSN "is always looking for new ways to increase engagement by creating relevant and compelling user experiences for its audience," said a Microsoft spokesman.

The celebrity genre is one of the Web's hottest categories, with sites like TMZ.com and E Online drawing millions of daily page views. With the relaunch of MSN Entertainment, Microsoft is attempting to capture a bigger share of that traffic.

"The new home page is not a replacement for the current MSN homepage, only a new option that customers can sign up for, which will deliver them a home page experience that better meets their interests and needs," said the Microsoft spokesman.

The new page is part of a broader experiment by MSN to allow users to create their own "topic-focused" home pages.

Amid declining sales of operating systems and packaged applications, Microsoft is looking to extract more revenue from its online operations. But it still has a long way to go if it's to match rivals like Google and on-again, off-again acquisition target Yahoo.

Microsoft in its most recent fiscal year reported revenue from online services of $3.2 billion. By contrast, Google -- —which derives virtually all of its revenue from the Internet -- posted sales of $21.8 billion.


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