Disney's Home Page Surfaces, Forgets ESPN & ABC


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Gearing up for a fun-filled "Monstober," Walt Disney Company (NYSE: DIS ) has unveiled a new home page for its ever-evolving website. Sticking mostly with a Halloween-esque theme, (including promotions for "Frankenweenie" and interactive game Monster Maze Mania), the company is striving to provide visitors with a highly entertaining online experience.

According to AllThingsD , Disney has been working on the website since 2011, making sure to keep tablet and smartphone optimization in mind.

"The new Disney.com is a much cleaner and more elegant site and a significant change from the legacy site, and any time you make material changes to a Web experience that has a large audience, you have potential to unsettle some users," Disney Interactive co-President James Pitaro told All Things D.

One visit to the website will show visitors that Pitaro was not lying. The now black and white homepage offers a crisp backsplash free of clutter and advertisements. The buttons at the top of the site (for movies, television, music, video, games and create) offer a simple way to navigate while keeping the home page focused on four rotating points of entertainment.

AllThingsD noted that while Marvel and Pixar content are included on the site, ABC and ESPN divisions are currently not present. So how will this impact Disney's absent subsidiaries?

If the last month few months were any indication, ESPN is not feeling the love from Disney. Deutsche Bank analysts recently said that ESPN advertising is a bit weaker than expected during the company's fourth quarter.

This is not to say that Pitaro and his team won't find a way to incorporate ESPN and ABC in the new design in the future. Still yet to be complete, Disney understands the risks it is taking and considers the website to be a work in progress.

Disney is not the only company using extensive website improvements to attract new customers while keeping the familiar coming back. Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT ) has redesigned core website MSN.com as the company prepares for the introduction of its newest operating system, Windows 8.

According to First Post Technology , the focus on MSN.com is similar to that of Disney; creating a website that is optimized for technologically advanced users.

"The new look is designed to appeal to tablet and touch-screen PC users, who can manipulate large icons across the screen and tap on items they want to read," First Post Technology reports.

While Microsoft's Windows 8 system is set to launch on October 26, Disney.com's refurbished website is now up and running.

Disney closed at $52.07 on Monday, up about 39 percent year-to-date. Microsoft is up nearly .50 percent in pre-market trading on Tuesday morning at $29.63.

(c) 2012 Benzinga.com. Benzinga does not provide investment advice. All rights reserved.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

This article appears in: Investing Stocks
Referenced Stocks: DIS , MSFT

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