If haven't already noticed Microsoft has redesigned their home page. The new design is sleek and streamlined with less horizontal breaks in content. This gives it a clean and less cluttered look. I like the new blue theme as its one of my favorite colors; however I'm not sure about the blue foreground on a blue background. I would've chosen a different shade of blue or a different color all together; perhaps whitesmoke or something darker.
Looking at their new design its interesting to note that at the top in their header section they make use of the dotted underline for the link hover. This is a style technique that I use prolifically in all of my web sites. What makes it interesting though is the fact that the dotted CSS keyword is not supported by IE6. It is fully supported in IE7. This shows that Microsoft (or at least the designers of their home page) are committed to CSS standards and moving forward leaving IE6 behind where it belongs.
Another interesting technique I noticed them utilizing is stripping out all of the carriage return + line feeds (CRLF) from the published page. This technique is not uncommon, in fact I use it for my blog content (not the actual pages). It saves a few bytes in size making the download to your client a little faster. And it also dissuades the average Joe from trying to steal their html content or techniques. Of course this is very easy to get around and that's why I said it only dissuades the average Joe.