MSN Butterfly LogoMSN’s new home page, which you can see at preview.msn.com, is the first one that doesn’t look like it was designed by Microsoft. The new page has the same cheery look and feel as the Bing search box that perches at its top, waiting to grab your next search away from Google.

The MSN butterfly logo has been redesigned to match the new look. It’s pretty, but I doubt many users will notice the change. It still pushes the NBC peacock button in my brain, and I’m sure I’m far from alone.

msn23The big surprise is the new design of the “verticals” as they’re known to advertisers — News, Money, Sports, Entertainment, Lifestyle — plus a catch-all “More.” Microsoft corporate vice president Erik Jorgensen told me the biggest change is that they threw away 25 category links that had piled atop the page. They’re gone. Not redesigned. Gone.

The verticals are much more visible now. But more important, the page finally gets to breathe. I’m sure there was some serious office politics required to get many managers to give up their spot atop the home page.

Microsoft is “more evolutionary than revolutionary,” Guidewire Group analyst Jeremiah Owyang said in a phone call.” To be revolutionary, they should show you custom content based on your profile.” The Huffington Post already does.