The "home.Microsoft.com" Web page, one of the busiest on the Net, is quietly getting a face-lift, including more functionality and features, but no banner ads.
It is the latest example in the trend to make some of the most heavily visited Web sites more like online services by providing personalization, search functions, news, stock quotes, and weather. A beta version already is posted and a final version is expected around November 17, Microsoft Web site producers said.
"In a few weeks, we'll replace this Internet Start site with a fast, new design that will offer more personal choices and world-class content providers," the site says.
It also is faster: "Many of you expressed frustration about how long it took the old Start page to display on your computer, and we have heeded your pleas." It also promises not to send unsolicited email to users who fill in feedback forms.
But the site isn't infallible. For a short time this afternoon, Netizens were met with the greeting: "Too many users; try again later."
The new page comes on the heels of the redesign of the corporate Microsoft.com Web page to include personalization. That feature was temporarily disabled by a glitch, but since has been fixed.