Microsoft Start was introduced by the company as a personalized news feed for desktop and mobile users. The new experience, which will also be integrated into Windows 11, aims to serve news from different publishers in a single interface. Microsoft claims that Microsoft Start uses its “latest advances in AI (artificial intelligence) and machine learning, along with human moderation” to deliver a personalized news service. The same experience will also be available to mobile users through dedicated apps available to Android and iOS users.
Coming as a replacement for the existing Microsoft News service, Microsoft Start offers users a new experience in which they can choose different topics according to their interests. A dedicated ‘Customize’ button is available to help users create a personalized experience. People can also refine their feeds whether they like specific stories or not, or by hiding a specific editor from the home screen.
In addition to personalization, users can react to specific stories with emojis. The feed also includes cards on topics such as weather, finance, sports and traffic – just like any major online news portal. Microsoft has given you the option to choose which information cards will appear in your feed and with what details. For example, you can change the city for weather updates or select your favorite actions to appear on the money card.
Unlike many news sites that display pop-up ads while reading, Microsoft Start has standalone ad units marked with a green “Ad” stamp to clearly distinguish the ads from news content. This is similar to the ad units available on the MSN portal.
Microsoft already has MSN as its online news service which is not being replaced by Microsoft Start. However, Microsoft Start itself is a combination of MSN and Microsoft News with machine learning entries that offer personalization. The new experience offers content from more than a thousand global media outlets that were previously also on board Microsoft News. Additionally, Microsoft Start’s goal appears to help MSN gain some traffic as it is the underlying source of content being delivered via a new custom feed.
It’s important to note that Microsoft Start may sound familiar to former Microsoft viewers, as the Redmond-based company had Start.com as its RSS aggregator, which was launched in 2005, but was discontinued a few years later.
That said, Microsoft Start is available as a standalone website that you can access on Google Chrome and Microsoft Edge. It’s also available for access from the new tab page in Microsoft Edge and through the News and Interests experience in the Windows 10 taskbar. Android and iOS users can also download the Microsoft Start app, which is essentially a reworking of the branding of the existing Microsoft News application. Additionally, Microsoft Start will be available in the Widgets experience on Windows 11.