MSN chucks $300m at new software

Dig at status quo (no old rocker gags, promise)

MSN is chucking $300m at marketing the latest version of its Net access software.

The announcement of this major marketing blitz comes just 24 hours before AOL goes public with its latest version of its family-oriented service.

Of course, the timing of the launch of MSN 8.0 is designed to spoil the launch of AOL's new 8.0 software.

Ah well, all fair in love and business.

In a direct stab at AOL Yusuf Mehdi, vice president for MSN said: "We are investing $300 million to communicate with people about MSN 8 because we want consumers to know that finally there is a better alternative to the status quo when it comes to Internet services.

"We believe when consumers compare MSN 8 with their existing service, MSN will win, hands down, because it allows consumers to communicate better, protect their family better and browse better than ever," said Mehdi.

A spokesman for AOL commented: "We're not overly concerned about what our competitors are doing."

MSN's ads - featuring its now familiar flutterby - will begin appearing in the US from Oct 24 on the telly, the wireless, newspapers and online.

Oh, MSN has around 9m subscribers and AOL has some 35m. ®

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