Microsoft has introduced today Microsoft Start, a personalized news feed that will be available across the web, the Microsoft Edge new tab page, Windows PCs, and mobile devices. Microsoft Start is an evolution of the company’s existing Microsoft News service, which uses content from the MSN.com news aggregator.
"Microsoft Start brings new technology to content experiences, including Microsoft’s latest advancements in AI and machine learning, coupled with human moderation, to help people stay up to date with information that is personalized for their interests,” explained Microsoft CVP Liat Ben-Zur. Users will see a personalized feed with stories coming from a over a thousand selected publishers, and they’ll be able to refine the algorithm by choosing articles or publishers they like or dislike.
Microsoft Start users can click on the “Personalize” button to manage their interests and optimize news recommendations from the get-go. In addition to news, Microsoft Start also features information cards providing updates on weather, finance, sports, and traffic. Overall, the experience should look quite familiar for people coming from the existing Microsoft News service, with a consistent UI across the different platforms where Microsoft Start is available.
All in all, Microsoft Start is still all about bringing more traffic to MSN content: MSN itself isn't going away, while Microsoft will start redirecting users from MicrosoftNews.com to the new Microsoft Start experience at MicrosoftStart.com. It’s not exactly clear why Microsoft needed a new brand for its news aggregator at all, especially when MSN remains one of the company’s oldest and most popular consumer brands. However, some of you may remember that Start.com was the name of a web-based RSS Aggregator that Microsoft launched back in 2005, but the short-lived experiment closed its doors two years later.
Microsoft Start is launching today on MicrosoftStart.com, and it’s also rolling out on the Microsoft Edge new tab page, the News and interests taskbar widget on Windows 10, and the new Widgets experience on Windows 11. On iOS and Android, the Microsoft News apps (formerly MSN News) will be updated and rebranded to Microsoft Start with a shiny new icon on both platforms.