Headed into today's Windows Technical Preview rollout, users find themselves in a Bing-to-MSN twilight zone. While Microsoft hasn't officially announced the rebranding, as best I can tell, it looks like all of the Metro Bing apps we've come to know and love (News, Weather, Travel, Finance, Sports, Health & Fitness, Food & Drink) are turning into MSN apps. But somehow Windows 8 hasn't quite caught up to that new MSN reality.
Have a Windows 8/8.1 computer handy? Try this: Go to the Metro Start screen and type "money." Chances are good you won't find any Metro apps that include the name "money." Next, type "finance." Sure enough, the Metro Bing Finance app appears. Fire it up. In the upper-left corner, you find you're actually running MSN Money, not Bing Finance.
It gets curiouser. Go to the Windows Store and look up "money." You find that you already have the MSN Money app installed. Lucky you. There's no mention of "finance."
Never one to balk at reusing a tired old brand (Live, anybody?), Microsoft is recycling the MSN name to confuse the bewilickers out of Windows 8 and Windows Phone (er, Windows phone?) customers. Gone are the old Bing Metro apps. In their stead are the new MSN Metro apps. They look and act the same, still functioning as a minimal front end to Microsoft's website (never mind MSNBC, which continues as a separate entity).
The old msn.com website now redirects to preview.msn.com, from which you can now directly access Hotmail (make that outlook.com), Office Online, OneNote, OneDrive, Bing Maps (yep, it's still Bing), Facebook, Twitter, Xbox Music, and Skype -- or is it MSN Skype?
I'd be willing to guess that we'll hear more about this revolutionary development during today's Windows Technical Preview rollout.