Microsoft's Macintosh Business Unit (MacBU) has released MSN for Mac OS X in the US.

The company has also made its MSN suite of subscription-based Internet services available for Mac OS X.

MSN features include: Junk Mail Filters, an Online Calendar, Address Book and MSN Messenger. The MSN Dashboard lets users add customizable content, such as news, weather, email counters, search, stock figures and a reading that shows how many contacts are online at any given moment.

Also offered are Local News and Weather; Email Update (how many email messages you have waiting); Search; Online Contacts (how many friends are online); and Stock Quotes. The service also offers customizable parental controls.

Microsoft's MSN group product manager Lisa Gurry said: "The Macintosh Business Unit and MSN teams have worked closely to develop a custom version of MSN specifically designed for the unique needs and preferences of Mac consumers.

"Take the thousands of research hours we've put into MSN 8, add the MacBU's own research and expertise in developing cutting-edge online products and software for Mac OS X, layer that on top of powerful OS X technologies, and you'll find MSN for Mac OS X makes the Web more useful."

The company is offering US customers three ways to sign up for its service - all subscription-based, these offer dial-up and broadband Internet access, with a subscription service also available for users who want to retain their current ISP.

Microsoft has announced no plans to roll out the service internationally.