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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 56 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Dave Lawler, author of World
1 hour ago - World

Biden holds first phone call with Putin, raises Navalny arrest

Putin takes a call in 2017. Photo: Handout/Anadolu Agency/Getty

President Biden on Tuesday held his first call since taking office with Vladimir Putin, pressing the Russian president on the arrest of opposition leader Alexey Navalny and the Russia-linked hack on U.S. government agencies.

The state of play: Biden also raised arms control, bounties allegedly placed on U.S. troops in Afghanistan and the war in Ukraine, according to a White House readout. The statement said Biden and Putin agreed maintain "consistent communication," and that Biden stressed the U.S. would "act firmly in defense of its national interests in response to actions by Russia that harm us or our allies."

Biden signs racial equity executive orders

Joe Biden prays at Grace Lutheran Church in Kenosha, Wisconsin, on September 3, 2020, in the aftermath of the police shooting of Jacob Blake. PHOTO: Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images

President Joe Biden on Tuesday signed executive orders on housing and ending the Justice Department's use of private prisons as part of what the White House is calling his “racial equity agenda.”

The big picture: Biden needs the support of Congress to push through police reform or new voting rights legislation. The executive orders serve as his down payment to immediately address systemic racism while he focuses on the pandemic.

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