The big Telecom Microsoft online split has now happened and users going to Xtramsn.co.nz will be asked to choose whether to go to Yahooxtra.co.nz or Msn.co.nz (you'll see the screengrab to the left when you go there).

Neither look terribly inspiring, but YahooXtra looks much better than MSN which has the look of a fairly anaemic news site. I still use Netvibes as my start page and it gives me everything I need. I think I probably visited XtraMSN half a dozen times last year. There are so many better overseas services allowing you to build your own portal that these mega-merger portals have an uphill battle unless they provide some really compelling content.

My Herald story on the launch of the two new portals.

Also, a news story and my Webwalk column in the Herald today about Rod Drury's interesting idea that the Government invest in a fibre optic cable network throughout the country. The discussion paper he's written here is very high level and designed simply to spark debate. It contains some good ideas that deserve to be considered. You can download the paper from here.

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