Microsoft partnered with Digital Publishing firm Kagiso Media to launch its MSN portal in Africa. Barely an year later, the tech giant has shown that the African market is not as enticing as they thought and so they are making a full about-turn and fully exiting the market.
Howzit MSN for Kenya and Nigeria are already in the process of being shut down while the South Africa property will be offline by June. Microsoft thought that it would use the HowZit MSN portals in Africa to penetrate the online advertising and search market so dominated by Google.
Microsoft launched its Howzit MSN portals in Africa after Yahoo but the latter is still very much alive in South Africa where it made its continental entry. Howzit MSN portal provided localised news for local readers hoping to attract advertisers after getting the eyeballs.
MSN has a presence in 50 countries out of which 3 were in Africa.
Sources within Microsoft have revealed that Kagiso media might be planning to go ahead with rollout of pan-Africa portals without the partnership of Microsoft. Already they are building a portal they might launch soon which will rival news24 and Google news.