Microsoft has built a news app to directly compete with services like Apple News, Google News, and Flipboard. News Pro, built for iOS but also available on desktop, was released on Jan. 27. News Pro comes from Microsoft Garage, an internal organization intended to give employees across the company an outlet to share and build ideas.
Projects start out as small-scale, but those with potential can grow to have larger influence and, as with News Pro, a commercial release. News Pro tries to separate from the pack by marketing itself as a business-focused service. It's intended to help you "search for news related to your business and everyday work," according to the Microsoft Garage homepage.
Its angle isn't surprising given Microsoft's broad enterprise audience, but you can use News Pro to find articles on more than a million topics. It functions similarly to its rivals. You choose areas of interest and the app sources articles to match.
[ Also from the Garage: the evil Mimicker Alarm, powered by AI ]
The user interface is straightforward. Users sign in via LinkedIn or Facebook, foregoing the name, email, and address entry common with registration for online services. Not a huge deal, of course, but appreciated.
From there, you can browse recommended articles under "Home" or click "Explore" to select topics of interest. The app lets you select specific businesses, organizations, skills, and products to follow. Click the check mark to add a topic to your personalized feed; click its box to view a list of relevant articles.
Aside from News Pro, there are a few other cool ideas percolating in the Microsoft Garage we haven't given much attention. Here, we take a closer look at projects currently on the workbench, where users can try the works-in-progress and share feedback.
Do you see any ideas with potential in this batch? Any duds? Which would you use? We'd like to hear your thoughts in the comments section below.
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