Following on from our post last week regarding the MSN revamp project known as “The January Effect“, the first results from that are beginning to show. MSN Music and the other MSN Entertainment pages have been silently upgraded to feature the new cross-portal MSN UI.
While the UI doesn’t represent a massive change from the MSN of old, the header at the top of the pages seems to be following the Windows Live approach. Its consistency allows for easier site navigation, with the new drop-down menu keeping users retained within the various MSN services. The gradient background provides a welcome break from the white background of old and gives an almost Vista-like feel.
The search bar has also increased in prominence, with the new option of being able to search both the site and the internet. Everybody know that Windows Live Search needs all the help it can get, but it seems unlikely that this move will have any effect on Google’s share dominance. At this stage though, it’ll be nice if Live Search manages to hold market share.
I like the new UI, the question is whether the other millions of MSN users do too.
Update: In the comments it’s been noted that msn.com has had some minor tweaks now, though the changes are not as obvious as those on the entertainment sites.