Microsoft's strategy around its MSN.com portal is continuing along a long and winding path.
The game plan, a year ago, was for Microsoft to field, at some point, MSN apps for Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8. Microsoft already offers a Windows 8 Bing News app. The company said that Bing News was designed to be an aggregated news source, while the MSN portal is meant to deliver content, but also highlight and demonstrate other Microsoft technologies, like Bing search, Skype, Outlook.com, and so on.
Microsoft almost decided to exit the portal business completely. In 2008, Microsoft made MSN part of the combined Search, Portal and Advertising Group. In an e-mail to employees, Satya Nadella (who was then senior vice president of R&D for Online Services) said MSN was Microsoft's single largest source of ad revenue.