Microsoft introduces 'Everyday Web' concept

Microsoft Corporation on Thursday announced its intention to deliver a new vision of the World Wide Web that it calls "Everyday Web," where common activities such as shopping, paying bills, and performing errands are easier and more dynamic. On the Everyday Web--a consortium of MSN-branded Web sites, really--users can interact with friends and family and perform business operations from any device at any time. The announcement came during a press event called MSN Day, where the company was widely expected to announce low-cost Internet access.

"We want to transform the Web from the occasionally used, inefficient medium it is today to a highly personalized place to get things done," said Richard Belluzzo, group vice president for the Consumer and Commerce Group at Microsoft. "By establishing MSN.COM as the focal point for this vision, we're moving beyond today's Internet to deliver what we call the Everyday Web: the next-generation Internet that enables everyone to harness the full power of the Web."

To arrive at this future nerdvana, Microsoft is promoting a four-step strategy that includes:

  • Delivering the richest set of software and services for common Web activities.

  • Offering new "megaservices" to Web site developers

  • Building marketplace partnerships to enrich users' shopping experience.

  • Bringing the Internet to users any time, anywhere and on any device.
As part of today's announcement, Microsoft has unveiled the new MSN Search tool, which makes searching the Web more productive by returning more relevant search results. And a new Web portal for businesses called Microsoft bCentral will be launched in beta form on September 30th, providing small and growing companies with the information they need to survive in the Internet era.

Microsoft's support of non-PC devices grows with the addition of MSN.COM Web sites that are geared toward PC companions, TV sets, and cellular phones. A Windows CE-based "MSN Web Companion" will help people access Internet services more easily, avoiding the confusion of a personal computer system. This hardware device should become available by the end of the year.

"Today's Web is pretty much a read-only medium, where you jump along from Web site to Web site and you just read pages," says Microsoft executive Brad Chase. "There's not a lot of opportunity for the average user to create personal information or to interact with people they know. We think the "Everyday Web" will be a center for building community and sharing ideas. Whether you are managing a girls' soccer team or running a civic group, the Web is about to become the tool that will make it really easy to share information. Using the Web to let everyone know where the soccer team is going for pizza after the game will be as simple as creating a document in Microsoft Word.

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