JASON REDMOND/AFP/Getty Images

Microsoft is rebranding its news apps on iOS and Android as "Microsoft News," as a part of a new push to house most of its news products under an AI-powered "Microsoft News" umbrella.

Why it matters: Microsoft has been experimenting with news products for years, but many have struggled to break through. Their efforts to consolidate all of their news efforts into one "News" destination more closely mimics the cross-platform strategies of Google News and Apple News.

Microsoft has attempted to rival Google News as far back as 2003, when it launched an an automated news service product called MSN Newsbot. In 2016, it launched of NewsPro, an app powered by a customized news bot called "Rove."

What it includes: The new "Microsoft News" brand will encompass news across Microsoft's properties, including its Microsoft Edge web browser, news sites like MSN.com, the News app in Windows 10, Skype, Xbox and Outlook.com, according to a statement. MSN.com will keep its name.

  • The new apps will include new personalization features, continuous reading breaking news alerts, and a dark mode for night reading.

How it works: The company says its News brand will use its "long-tested approach" of curating news via publishing partnerships, human editors, and AI. "We work with more than 1,000 premium publishers and more than 3,000 brands," the company says, citing editorial partnerships ranging from The New York Times to Fox News.

  • The mix of humans, partnerships and algorithms makes it more like Apple News than Google News, which has relied almost exclusively on algorithms

Our thought bubble: Microsoft's efforts could be bolstered by its Windows product, which reaches a significant number of desktop users.

  • At the same time, it’s unclear how many of those will be avid enough users to take up the app on other platforms, like iOS and Android where Apple and Google already have more established news apps.

Go deeper

Updated 4 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 10 p.m. ET: 12,009,301 — Total deaths: 548,799 — Total recoveries — 6,561,969Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 10 p.m. ET: 3,053,328 — Total deaths: 132,256 — Total recoveries: 953,420 — Total tested: 37,532,612Map.
  3. Public health: Houston mayor cancels Republican convention over coronavirus concerns Deaths are rising in hotspots — Déjà vu sets in as testing issues rise and PPE dwindles.
  4. Travel: United warns employees it may furlough 45% of U.S. workforce How the pandemic changed mobility habits, by state.
  5. Education: New York City schools will not fully reopen in fallHarvard and MIT sue Trump administration over rule barring foreign students from online classes.
  6. 🎧 Podcast: A misinformation "infodemic" is here.

Transcripts show George Floyd told police "I can't breathe" over 20 times

Photo: Gary Coronado/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

Newly released transcripts of bodycam footage from the Minneapolis Police Department show that George Floyd told officers he could not breathe more than 20 times in the moments leading up to his death.

Why it matters: Floyd's killing sparked a national wave of Black Lives Matter protests and an ongoing reckoning over systemic racism in the United States. The transcripts "offer one the most thorough and dramatic accounts" before Floyd's death, The New York Times writes.

9 hours ago - Health

Fighting the coronavirus infodemic

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

An "infodemic" of misinformation and disinformation has helped cripple the response to the novel coronavirus.

Why it matters: High-powered social media accelerates the spread of lies and political polarization that motivates people to believe them. Unless the public health sphere can effectively counter misinformation, not even an effective vaccine may be enough to end the pandemic.