March 11, 2005 1:44 PM PST

Microsoft to kill MSN for the Mac

Microsoft plans to all but end its stint as an Internet service provider to Mac users, discontinuing its MSN for Mac OS X software, CNET has learned.

The company plans to notify customers this month and discontinue the service as of May 31, a Microsoft representative said in an e-mail. Microsoft announced plans to get into the market in 2002 and began offering the service in the United States the following year.

"Beginning May 31, Microsoft will make changes and no longer support the MSN for Mac OS X Internet Software client," the representative said. A Microsoft representative declined to say how many people subscribe to MSN for the Mac, but said it is "a small number."

Under a deal from years ago with Qwest, Microsoft is required to offer Internet access to Mac users. Therefore, customers will still be able to buy $22-a-month Internet access from Microsoft. However, the company will not offer any local software and customers will have to log on using the Mac's built-in Internet Connect dialer.

"Microsoft will be in regular communication with its MSN for Mac customers to ensure options are clearly communicated and the transition is as smooth as possible," the company said.

The company will also still allow those with their own Internet access to pay for a collection of browser-based MyMSN services, including 2GB of Hotmail storage, Encarta Premium and Money Plus. In theory, customers can continue to pay Microsoft between $10 and $27 a month for that option.

MSN has broadly shifted much of its attention away from its dial-up Internet access business and into Internet services and content that can be accessed via any Internet connection, and high-speed broadband in particular.

Following Apple's introduction of the Safari browser, Microsoft discontinued its Internet Explorer browser for the Mac, but the company continues to make other products for the Mac, most notably a Mac version of Office. The company reiterated on Friday that it is not abandoning the Mac.

"Microsoft's Mac BU remains committed to the Mac platform and its customers," Microsoft said, noting recent updates to Office and the introduction of a new version of MSN Messenger for Mac.

MSN first got in the Mac business when it agreed to take over dial-up and high-speed Internet access for customers of Qwest. Initially the company offered only a Mac OS 9-compatible dialer program for Qwest customers, but later decided to expand the service and pitch it broadly to Mac users in the United States.


Join the conversation!
Add your comment
Used to have Qwest powered by MSN on my Mac, as a carry over from using it on my retired DULL. What a joke, MSN never supported the ability of having 2 different MSN users in the same household, and MSN Video only works on a PC. So what exactly was the point?

So for a year I've been using Qwest 1.5Mb DSL with their own ISP and saving about $8 a month now for NOT using MSN, using Entourage to talk to Hotmail. So really tell it like it is, MSN on a Mac is throwing money away, and I'm sure that most Mac users figured that out a long time ago.
Posted by (21 comments )
Reply Link Flag
msn on Mac!
LOL! You got that right! Great comment!
Posted by (22 comments )
Link Flag
Who cares...?
Who cares...?
Posted by (1 comment )
Reply Link Flag
MSN and Qwest?????
Two major losers.

MSN is a garbage site like AOL.

Qwest is over-priced and under performing.

Get either a cable modem or, for DSL or Dial-Up, any othe ISP
offering email. Get your own hard drive. Find Encarta and Money
at a flea market or used computer store. Use Safari or FireFox,
plus Mail or Thunderbird,

See how the real world lives.
Posted by Earl Benser (4310 comments )
Reply Link Flag
The real world ?
The VAST majority of the real world uses Windows IE & OE.
Posted by (409 comments )
Link Flag
MSN was one step removed from malware
Thank God someone finally pulled the plug on this pathetic tangle of code.
Posted by Ulfhednar (2 comments )
Reply Link Flag
MSN sucks
MSN sucks, no one uses it. And anyone on a mac that does, can use adium to still acsess MSN servers. boo hoo
Posted by (2 comments )
Reply Link Flag
MSN sucks
MSN sucks, no one uses it. And anyone on a mac that does, can use adium to still acsess MSN servers. boo hoo
Posted by (2 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Mr. Arbogast...'s good to see you're still around and resolutely blogging for M$! When are you gonna break down and tell us how much they pay you?
Posted by Michael Grogan (308 comments )
Reply Link Flag
MSN for Mac goes "bye-bye"?
Who gives a f---? Microsoft still thinks they're "the only game in
town"? Well, let them now try to do away with "MS Office for
Mac"! No, no, I don't think so. They really hate nasty things like
huge losses in profit. What else do Mac users really care about
that Microsoft puts out? Nothing!
Posted by Batchain (6 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Will they still offer MSN Messenger for MAC?
Posted by (1 comment )
Reply Link Flag
Posted by Jake147258 (1 comment )
Reply Link Flag
I have been using msn for about 10 years now , and never had any problem , i have always love a mac and have always had , my Grandma on the other hand has been using msn when it first came out in Dial-Up and then dsl with qwest, and now we are have so much problems with it , msn with not install on my Hp , and will no longer let my grandma log on to hers , and will my mac, i have msn on it but i can not use it because i have a witch is msn and there for it says it not a right user, so f##k it i rather have a mac any ways because they are a better system then windows , and just to thank if he did not still the program , what would we be all using then ??? lol a Macintosh dua !!
Posted by liddlekris (1 comment )
Reply Link Flag

Join the conversation

Add your comment

The posting of advertisements, profanity, or personal attacks is prohibited. Click here to review our Terms of Use.

What's Hot



RSS Feeds

Add headlines from CNET News to your homepage or feedreader.