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Microsoft launches home page-building service

MSN Home Pages will borrow technology from TalkCity, a similar Web community.

MSN, Microsoft's Web portal, is launching a new service that will allow users to build home pages on its site.

Called MSN Home Pages, the service will borrow technology from Talk City, another home page community on the Web.

The latest wrinkle in the software giant's portal strategy takes aim at the many home page builders that have become popular on the Web. Early movers, such as GeoCities and Tripod, are highly regarded for their ability to attract millions of users.

Users also stay on the site for longer periods of time, leading many to describe these sites as "sticky"--a favorite catchphrase for marketers.

On MSN, the new site will offer 12MB of Web storage space. The site also will offer design tools, such as Microsoft FrontPage software.

The service will try to generate revenue through advertisements. Pop-up ads will greet users when they enter their home pages, and banner ads will post on sign-in pages.