Much in the same way that it feels a little sacrilegious to have Microsoft Office products on a Mac, iOS users may feel a little strange downloading a full suite of MSN apps to their mobile devices.
The apps were introduced as part of the “new MSN,” which debuted in late September and focuses on the mobile and cloud experience. There are six new apps–News, Money, Health & Fitness, Food & Drink, Sports and Weather –and they’re all currently available for Windows, Google Play, Amazon. They’re also currently available on iOS with the exception of the Weather* app, which will be available for iOS in the next few months, according to an online statement from MSN corporate vice president Brian MacDonald. The apps sync across all of a users’ devices with a Microsoft login.
The News app features news streams from the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, CNN, and other major news outlets, and the Sports app includes feeds from over 200 sources and live scores and data. The Health & Fitness app will sync with Apple HealthKit to keep track of personal workout data and food intake.
In a July memo to employees, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadela said the company’s goal was to “reinvent productivity.” And at an event shortly thereafter he asked, “How do we help humans conquer the space/time boundary, both individually and as groups? How do we create tools that get them that digital assist in terms of getting things done?”
None of the MSN apps sound like they’re bound for mass disruption or poised to rethink personal productivity. Sure, they cover a broad variety of topics, the likes of which you might recall seeing when you had MSN as your Internet Explorer homepage way back when. But they don’t offer anything new to the spaces they’re serving–and copious sports stats and data hardly seem to lend themselves to productivity.
Yet it’s possible that the sleek-looking new apps could propel Microsoft into the future, and, ironically, it all depends on their success in the Apple Store.
*Correction: An earlier version of this article incorrectly stated that the Health & Fitness app was not yet available for iOS.