msnbc.com ceased to be yesterday. NBCnews.com takes over.
NBC's mother company Comcast purchased Microsoft's half of a JV that sounded doomed from the start: You simply cannot build an internet powerhouse by leveraging on a non-brand at the commercial level.
Unsurprisingly and according to Alexa today, MSNBC.com ranked #7,201 globally and #1,503 nation-wide. NBCnews.com definitely can't do worse than it does nowadays (#1,164,341 at the global level, out of the US charts). Note that NBC.com claims slightly better slots (respectively #1,925 and #735), far behind MSN.com (17th and 14th), but also behind its other offspring CNBC (#605, #194).
CNBC stands for Consumer News and Business Channel, but I'm sure more people think it stands for Cable NBC or even for a JV between CNN and NBC. Anyway, CNBC does have a stronger identity than msnbc, and not only because of the capital letters: it's not a matter of reach but a matter of consistency.
Well. Back in 1996, Microsoft was still barely scratching the surface of the internet, surfing on its young troyan horse Internet Explorer.
16 years later, it seems that Redmond eggheads still don't have much of a clue.