The Microsoft Network
Born in Windows 95, then quietly faded away. If you think of today’s MSN as being the Microsoft network, you probably weren’t around in the early days. Part dial-up Internet service provider, part BBS wannabe with an AOL slant, part CompuServe forum competitor, the Microsoft Network tried to fit in all the niches, only to miss them all. MSN finally hit its stride as a completely different beast, which we would now call an Internet portal. The Microsoft Network aped Windows Explorer, by using icons to represent forums. According to Alexa, MSN.com is now the 17th most-visited domain name on the Internet, right behind sina.com.cn.