Microsoft has launched a rebranded Microsoft News app for iOS and Android. Its news engine will also power news across a variety of Microsoft products, including Microsoft Edge, the News app in Windows 10, Skype, Xbox and Outlook.com.
The Redmond, Washington-based company, which has been in the news business for more than 23 years, said in an announcement, “Microsoft News represents the ways we keep people informed across the web, phone and PC, using our long-tested approach of curating news via publishing partnerships, human editors, and AI.
We work with more than a thousand premium publishers and more than 3,000 brands in all major global markets – like USA Today, The New York Times, FOX News, The Washington Post, The Guardian, Le Monde, Die Welt, El País, BBC News, Kyodo News, and many more – to aggregate the best news, videos, photos and other content and deliver it, for free, to people all over the world.”
In an ecosystem where Apple News and Google News are both going strong, what will differentiate this new platform?
Microsoft says that in addition to a modern and beautiful experience tailored to iOS and Android devices, powerful algorithms and human editorial curation, and a high degree of customization options, it has a strong focus on publisher partnerships.
“We know we can’t do it alone,” says Rob Bennett, Editor in Chief of Microsoft News. “We may have decades of news experience under our belt but there are many institutions that have been at it much, much longer. These institutions have defined what we think of as quality journalism through years of essential reporting.”
We believe that a free, well-funded press is a critical part of our social fabric and are proud to partner with the world’s best news brands, offering a business model that gives people access, at no-cost, to trustworthy news and provides a sustainable source of revenue for publishers. In just the past four years we’ve delivered more than $600 million back to our publishers, enabling them to focus on what they do best: quality journalism.
One of the strong suits of Microsoft News is its curation process, which involves both artificial intelligence and inputs from editors with local expertise. Microsoft has more than 800 editors working from 50 locations around the world – including editorial newsrooms serving multiple regions in India, Germany, France, Mexico, Canada and Spain.
Microsoft gives us a peek behind the scenes, explaining what goes on in the newsroom to bring the best of curated news from all across the world.
Every day, our publishing partners send us more than 100,000 unique pieces of content. Our AI scans the content as it arrives, processes it to understand dimensions like freshness, category, topic type, opinion content and potential popularity and then presents it for our editors. Our algorithms suggest appropriate photos to pair with content to help bring stories to life. Editors then curate the top stories throughout the day, across a variety of topics, so our readers get the latest news from the best sources.
In sync with its focus on publisher partnerships, many of Microsoft News editors have extensive backgrounds in media and journalism, and have worked at a variety of trusted news organizations including The Washington Post, The Chicago Tribune, Globe and Mail, Newsday, NBCSports.com, Seattle Times, Asahi Shimbun and Associated Press.
The newly designed Microsoft News app is available on iOS and Android, and includes a dark mode, better integration with iOS and Android widgets, continuous reading, and breaking news alerts.