Microsoft back in June 2012 launched a preview of the upcoming Microsoft.com website which looked fundamentally different from the old homepage. Today, the preview design went live on microsoft.com. If you visit the website right now, you will notice a clean looking site with less clutter than before.
The responsive design adapts to any screen resolution you display the homepage in. This is a fluent process that happens while you increase or decrease the size of the browser window. The dominant element on the new homepage is the large banner that is advertising Microsoft products and services. Right now, it is teasing Bing it on, Skype and Visual Studio.
It is interesting to note that designs differ depending on which web browser you use to access the Microsoft homepage. The above homepage is displayed to Google Chrome, Internet Explorer 10 and Opera users only. Firefox and Internet Explorer 9 and previous users see an entirely different design.
The design not only looks different, it also is static and not responsive like the design displayed when you open the web page in IE10, Google Chrome or Opera.
The top of the page is nearly identical though in both designs. The search is displayed prominently here, as are the links to products, downloads, security and buy. The first difference is the distinction between home and work on the Firefox and IE9 page. While you can switch between work and home on the IE10 and Chrome design page as well, it won't change the teaser banner at the top.
It is not really clear why Microsoft decided to launch the site with different designs based on browsers. It is because of technical restrictions, market research or something else?
What's clear though is that the new Microsoft.com is definitely cleaner and easier to navigate than the old homepage. Have you been to the new homepage yet? Did you see one of the two designs above, or yet another one?
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Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.