Microsoft Takes News App Fight To Apple's Turf
Microsoft Corporation (NYSE: MSFT) released a news aggregator app on Tuesday night called News Pro on iOS and web. The release sees Microsoft compete directly with Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) in the increasingly crowded field of iOS news reader apps.
The app sells itself as a "hyper-relevant" news aggregator that culls users' skills and interests from LinkedIn or Facebook, theoretically offering news that's tailored to the users's needs. In execution, however, News Pro has a little trouble identifying users' work experience and interests.
It's important to note that News Pro is not a mainline Microsoft product in its first iteration. It comes from Microsoft Garage, an internal experimental projects outfit.
The web app feels lean, even compared to the minimal UIs Microsoft has favored in recent years. Two tabs sit atop the screen next to a simple "N" logo: "Home" and "Explore."
The feed is broken down into two sections: "Highlights," a selection of eight stories that News Pro thinks are most important to the user, and "more articles," a mass of headlines that stretches off to the ends of the internet.
The "Explore" displays topics and sources News Pro recommends the user follow. This reviewer's LinkedIn lists skills like publishing, writing and editing, and blogging. From those skills and interests, News Pro suggested the reviewer follow industries such as "wholesale" and "professional training and coaching," a mismatch.
Once the reviewer manually followed a bunch of news organizations and writing topics, News Pro began feeding more relevant options.
News Pro is only available on Apple phones and not Android or Microsoft's own Windows 10 phone mobile platform.
Microsoft declined to comment for this article.
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