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|CNET rating: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 best|
| The good: Includes fully functional e-mail client with improved junk-mail filters; slicker interface; sophisticated parental access controls; reliable performance; two-month free trial; 24/7 toll-free support. |
The bad: Junk-mail filters don't perform as well as they should; inconsistent support quality.
The bottom line: If you use AOL and don't like it much, MSN 8.0 is a family-friendly alternative. Get it if you need parental controls and surfing filters, but Net-savvy surfers shouldn't switch from another ISP.
Better get used to Microsoft Network's rainbow-hued butterfly--you'll be seeing a lot of it over the next few months. Microsoft is hoping that a massive marketing push and a raft of familycentric features will transform MSN 8.0 into an AOL killer. And with its new parental access controls, junk-mail filters, and slick interface, MSN 8.0 does indeed edge out AOL 8.0. Net newbies, disgruntled AOL users, and those with families should look to MSN 8.0 for the best all-in-one Internet package, but anyone using another ISP, such as EarthLink, needn't switch. |
|Software requirements and specs:|
|Platform:||Windows 98/Me/2000 (with Service Pack 2)/XP|
|Processor:||233MHz minimum, 500MHz recommended|
|RAM:||64MB minimum, 128MB recommended|
|Disk space:||320MB (for installation)|
|Display requirements:||256-color VGA|
|Sound requirements:||16-bit card and speakers|
|Downloadable full version:||Yes|
|Release date:||October 24, 2002|
Daniel Tynan is a frequent contributor to CNET Internet Services and the author of the regular column Inside @ccess. Got a question for him? We'll pass it on!