Expanding its subscription offerings, Microsoft this week announced the beta availability of MSN Premium Services for Broadband, which is targeted at home users with high-speed Internet connections. MSN Premium Services for Broadband is the first MSN version to take advantage of the bandwidth provided by high-speed Internet services through cable and DSL, the company says, and it provides consumers with a premium MSN email client, access to premium MSN features on the Web, and calendar sharing between MSN subscribers.
"MSN Premium is the first premium service offering for broadband from MSN designed specifically to let customers get the most out of their connected experience through a powerful combination of communications, sharing and online safety features," said Yusuf Mehdi, corporate vice president for MSN at Microsoft. "With over 350 million visitors to MSN monthly, many who are broadband-connected, we wanted to create the optimal premium offering enabling them to take advantage of the 'always-on' and high-speed capabilities broadband delivers -- MSN Premium will deliver significant value to broadband enthusiasts."
MSN Premium will be available through MSN Internet access partners such as Verizon, Qwest, and Charter Communications, and will cost an additional $9.95 a month, or $79.95 a year. Microsoft says MSN Premium will be widely available by the end of the year. A lower-end version, MSN Plus, will offer fewer features and cost less than MSN Premium, though details are sketchy at this point.