Microsoft introduced its own personalized news reading experience called Microsoft Start, which is available as a website and mobile app, in addition to being integrated with other company products, including Windows 10, Windows 11 and the Microsoft Edge web browser.
The feed aggregates content from news publishers. But in a way that is tailored to individual users’ interests, the company says.
The customization system can help the company better compete with the news reading experiences of competitors such as Apple or Google, as well as popular third-party applications such as Flipboard or SmartNews.
The company says the product is built on the company’s legacy with online and mobile consumer services such as MSN and Microsoft News. However, it will not replace MSN. This service remains available. This is despite the launch of this new internal competitor.
To use Microsoft Start, consumers can visit the standalone website MicrosoftStart.comIt works on both Google Chrome and Microsoft Edge. But not Safari.
or they can download Application Microsoft Start for mobile devices for iOS or Android. The service also enhances the News and Interests experience via the Windows 10 taskbar and the widgets experience through Windows 11. It is available in Microsoft Edge through a new tab page.
At first glance, Microsoft Start is like any other online portal that offers a collection of news from a variety of publishers, along with widgets for things like weather, stocks, sports scores, and traffic.
When you click to read an article, you’re taken to a shared version hosted on a Microsoft domain, which includes the Microsoft Start top navigation bar at the top and emoji interaction buttons below the title.
Users can also interact with Stories using emojis while browsing the same homepage.
The set of emojis is similar to that offered by Facebook, except that Microsoft has replaced the controversial smiley face emoji on Facebook with a thinking one.
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Microsoft launches a dedicated news service Start
The company made another change with their emojis as well, and after you reply to a story with an emoji, you see your own emoji instead of the top three and the overall reaction count.
And while web portals tend to be static aggregators of news content, the Microsoft Start feed adapts to users’ interests in many different ways.
Users can click the Customize button to go to a page where they can manually add and remove interests from a number of top-tier categories such as News, Entertainment, Sports, Technology, Money, Finance, Travel, Health, Shopping and more.
They can also search for categories and interests that can be more specific or more specialized.
And when users then start browsing the Microsoft Start feed. They can also click a button to like or dislike an article to better adjust the feed according to their preferences.
Over time, the more a user interacts with the content, the more accurate the feed becomes. The company notes that this personalization enhances artificial intelligence and machine learning, as well as human supervision.
The feed is being supported via ads. As you scroll down, you notice that every few rows contain one ad unit. The URL is marked with a green “ad” sign.
Given that the company is not shutting down MSN and incorporating this news service into a number of other products. It expands the range of available ads you can provide with this launch.
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