MSN "preview" portal appears on the Web

The missing MSN New Zealand portal has turned up - after a fashion. A 'preview' version of the site appeared at the address msn.co.nz yesterday. The site includes content from NBR, TV One, NZ City, TAB Sports and Jasons Travel, but many features of the portal - including links for local weather and Yellow Pages listings - have yet to be localised. Name service for the msn.co.nz domain was officially transferred to Microsoft servers in the US on Friday.

The missing MSN New Zealand portal has turned up - after a fashion. A "preview" version of the site appeared at the address msn.co.nz yesterday.

The site includes content from partners National Business Review, TV One, NZ City, TAB Sports and Jasons Travel, but many features of the portal, which is based on Microsoft's main MSN.com site, have not yet been localised. Links for local weather and Yellow Pages listings are among those which do not yet exist.

The local site is being hosted from Microsoft's base in Redmond, Washington.

The Microsoft-Packer joint venture company NineMSN, which is managing the several times delayed portal on Microsoft's behalf, announced the launch of a preview" portal with a press release last Tuesday, but neither the site or the msn.co.nz domain, which was registered by Microsoft New Zealand in August, could be found.

According to records at the national domain name registry, Domainz, name service for the domain was only officially transferred to Microsoft name servers in the US on Friday.

Stories from Friday are still showing on the site this morning.

In last week's press release, Terry Allen, Microsoft New Zealand's developer relations and Internet business manager, says the New Zealand portal is a preview of things to come, and has been launched with all the "Internet fundamentals" including email, search, up-to-date news, sports results and weather.

"The portal employs the MSN personalisation architecture which is being implemented worldwide, and provides users with the opportunity to choose their Internet experience," says Allen. "We've launched with the fundamentals, and now the goal is to build on that so that New Zealand users can enjoy the richness of New Zealand content in the same easy to use and personalisable environment."

NineMSN's Managing Director, Steve Vamos says the company "looks forward to working closely with Microsoft and ACP in New Zealand, as well as other local content providers, to create a world class, but uniquely New Zealand offering."

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