One of the online behaviors that have increased during the past year is that people are keeping a close eye on the news, mostly through social media. But sometimes it’s hard to sift through all the other content that you see there so it’s better to get news aggregators. Microsoft is now joining the fray as they launch their new product, Microsoft Start, a personalized news feed that you can access through their website, an app, and on other Microsoft products.
Microsoft Start is basically a personalized news feed and collection of content from premium publishers. There are several ways that you’ll be able to access it so it should be more convenient whatever device you’re using. There’s the standalone website MicrosoftStart.com which you can access on Chrome and Microsoft Edge. There’s also a mobile app available for Android and iOS devices. It’s also available on the News and Interests experience on the Windows 10 taskbar, as a widget in Windows 11, and from the Microsoft Edge new tab page.
To get personalized news based on your interests, you can do it by clicking on the “Personalize” button and then choose from high-level categories like news, entertainment, sports, technology, etc and also more niche and specific categories and interests. When you see an article or a publisher on your feed, you can also give it a thumbs up or thumbs down or react with an emoji. Basically the more you interact with your feed, the more the algorithm will be tailor fit for you.
Since this is a free service, you can expect to see several advertisements as you scroll through your feed. It’s flagged with a green Ad badge to avoid confusion. What may be confusing to users though is that Microsoft is not discontinuing MSN, a sort-of similar service that is a web portal that also has a localized news feed. Microsoft News though is no more so at least that’s one less product to get confused about.
If you’d like to try out Microsoft Start, you can either download the app or go to the stand-alone website. Let’s see if the AI algorithm and the personalization can compete with the likes of Apple News, Google News, Flipboard, etc.