Microsoft and ACP Media announced the launch msn.co.nz this morning, just over an hour ahead of the official launch of the Telecom Yahoo! partnership YahooXtra.
The msn.co.nz site, which will be the new New Zealand home of Hotmail, MSN Messenger, Live Search as well as a news and information portal, will launch on 1 March.
The partners behind the venture, which will replace the defunct xtramsn service, are magazine publisher ACP Media, Microsoft and ninemsn. Both ACP and ninemsn are part of Australian media company PBL.
The site also partners with TV3, job portal Seek and sports site Sportal.
When customers log out of Hotmail they will find themselves redirected to msn.co.nz. Visitors to the old xtramsn.co.nz website will also have the choice to visit the new msn.co.nz site.
There are over one million Hotmail and 300,000 MSN Messenger users registered in New Zealand, according to Microsoft. A general manager and some operational personnel are expected to be appointed shortly.