MSN Explorer

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MSN Explorer
Developer(s) Microsoft
Stable release 13.567.1 Build 234 / December 24, 2013[1]
Development status Active
Written in C++
Operating system Windows 8, Windows 7, Windows Vista and Windows XP
Platform Microsoft Windows
Available in English, French, and more

MSN Explorer is a web browser, developed by Microsoft, that integrates MSN and Windows Live features such as Hotmail and Messenger with a web browser. To make use of these services requires a paid subscription to MSN and a Microsoft account. Even though MSN Messenger and Windows Live Messenger is now Skype, the installation still lets you install MSN Messenger.

The program is essentially a graphics-heavy version of Internet Explorer, and could be termed an Internet Explorer shell, which means it is a Trident based browser.

MSN Explorer is similar in many ways to AOL's Internet software, as AOL has an email client built in and both programs provide access to special members-only content.


Early history[edit]

MSN Explorer 1.1 was originally included with Windows Whistler build 2410 and above. Server versions of Windows Whistler did not include it. Version 6 of MSN Explorer is built into Windows XP. Version 7 was released at the same time on Windows XP. MSN 8 and 9 were released in 2002 and 2004 respectively.

Development of the free version of MSN Explorer was halted in favor of a version only available with MSN Internet Access, though the last free version (Version 7) for those without an MSN Service Provider is still available. Versions of MSN Explorer later than 7.5 require paid subscription; however, it is possible to use another Internet service provider while accessing content provided through the MSN Explorer software.

Hotmail integration[edit]

MSN Explorer, until the migration of Hotmail to the Windows Live brand, also provided a user interface for navigating one's e-mail inbox and folders, also known as "MSN Mail". The user interface, much like the other user interface features of MSN Explorer, utilized relatively responsive animations which would not become commonplace until HTML5 became a normal feature in webmail user interfaces.

Version 9.x[edit]

As of version 9, users must pay and subscribe to use MSN Explorer. It also requires a user to have a Windows Live ID, though depending on the version, it may or may not require a subscription to other MSN services. The interface also includes many Flash animations. Versions later than 9.5 are compatible with Windows Vista. Version 9.6 was released in June 2008 and includes revisions necessary for a newer mailbox synchronization technology and to replace the MSN Parental Controls menu options with links to the new Windows Live Family Safety.

Version 10[edit]

MSN version 10 was to begin rolling out in November 2009, with a full rollout furnished to all paying subscribers by the end of 2009.[needs update] Features include full Internet Explorer 8 compatibility, integrated spell checker, and the ability to exclude MSN Messenger from the installation.

Version 10.2[edit]

MSN Explorer 10.2 was released in 2011 with the following improvements:

  • Photo e-mail integration with Windows Live™ SkyDrive
  • Include photos or a photo slideshow with a link so others can download a copy for themselves.
  • Button groups organize, reorder, add and delete groups of buttons to suit one's style and needs. Switch between groups at any time.

Version 10.5[edit]

MSN version 10.5 contains minor improvements to the software; most notably it disguises itself as a newer version of browser to bypass outdated browser warning messages from some websites.

See also[edit]


External links[edit]