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Meet Microsoft News: A new way to stay informed across the Web, Windows 10, iOS and Android – Windows Experience Blog

Our mission for more than two decades has been to keep you informed in an easily accessible, comprehensive and trustworthy way. Today, we share the next step in our evolution.

Microsoft has been in the news business for more than 23 years. When we launched MSN in 1995, the news industry was just beginning to provide content online. The period that followed was one of dramatic change and reinvention, forcing news organizations to re-think their programming and business strategies. We changed, too, from a feature of Windows 95 to a network of web and app experiences that now reaches nearly half a billion people in more than 140 countries and 28 languages. As we’ve evolved, our central mission has remained the same: to keep our audience informed in an easily accessible, comprehensive and trustworthy way.

Today, we’re excited to share the next step in our evolution – Microsoft News.

Microsoft News Editors at Mexico City Editorial Hub

Microsoft News Editors at Mexico City Editorial Hub

What is Microsoft News? 

Microsoft News is the new name for our news engine that powers familiar sites like MSN.com, and our newly redesigned Microsoft News app for iOS and Android. Microsoft News also powers news on Microsoft Edge, the News app in Windows 10, Skype, Xbox and Outlook.com.

Microsoft News represents the ways we keep people informed across the web, phone and PC, using our long-tested approach of curating news via publishing partnerships, human editors, and AI. We work with more than a thousand premium publishers and more than 3,000 brands in all major global markets – like USA Today, The New York Times, FOX News, The Washington Post, The Guardian, Le Monde, Die Welt, El País, BBC News, Kyodo News, and many more – to aggregate the best news, videos, photos and other content and deliver it, for free, to people all over the world.

MSN, powered by Microsoft News

MSN, powered by Microsoft News

Microsoft News makes it easy for you to personalize your news experience, including prioritizing your favorite topics on MSN.com or selecting interests to follow in your news feed on the Microsoft Edge Start page and our apps on Windows 10, iOS and Android, so you can quickly get to the information you want most when and where you want it. We also enable our many publishing partners to connect with new audiences and earn money for their content at a time when that is crucial to the survival of the industry – so they can continue to invest in high-quality, credible journalism.

Microsoft News for iOS and Android

You can experience the best of what Microsoft News has to offer in our newly redesigned Microsoft News app for iOS and Android, available today. The app makes it easy to get news wherever you are, focused on the topics you care about most – like having your own portable newsroom.

Microsoft News app for Android – dark theme

Microsoft News app for Android – dark theme

The app has been completely redesigned into a modern and beautiful experience tailored to iOS and Android devices. Here are some of our favorite new features:

  • New personalization upgrades, including the ability to tailor interests to follow in your news feed – such as World News, Personal Finance, Fitness and many more – and to roam interests across devices and local news options for top cities
  • Easy to configure breaking news alerts
  • A new dark theme, enabling better night reading
  • Simplified access through seamless integration with iOS and Android widgets
  • Continuous reading, for a smooth content experience

Get the app now.

Supporting the publishing ecosystem and quality journalism

We know we can’t do it alone. We may have decades of news experience under our belt but there are many institutions that have been at it much, much longer. These institutions have defined what we think of as quality journalism through years of essential reporting.

We believe that a free, well-funded press is a critical part of our social fabric and are proud to partner with the world’s best news brands, offering a business model that gives people access, at no-cost, to trustworthy news and provides a sustainable source of revenue for publishers. In just the past four years we’ve delivered more than $600 million back to our publishers, enabling them to focus on what they do best: quality journalism.

“Microsoft has been a great partner over the last several years, working closely with our newsroom and collaborating as they consider new features and services. We appreciate partners like Microsoft who value trusted reporting and seek ways to elevate and share premium journalism to millions of readers who are looking for information from a reliable source.”

— Maribel Wadsworth, publisher of USA TODAY and president, USA TODAY NETWORK

“Microsoft is a great partner for us because it offers both impressive reach and a well-earned reputation as a trusted source of news.”

— Rich Kennedy, SVP of Business Development, Business Insider

“We are very happy that Microsoft is investing further in highlighting valuable and trusted sources of news. The launch of Microsoft News is another positive proof point of publisher-platform relationships strengthening and we look forward to seeing what’s to come.”

— Matt Dornic, VP for Communications and Digital Partnerships, CNN

“Microsoft has been a valued partner in delivering CBSN’s live, 24/7 news coverage and analysis to an expansive audience that’s hungry for quality news and information. We look forward to continuing our strong relationship.”

— Christy Tanner, Executive Vice President and General Manager, CBS News Digital

“MSN delivers premium content at scale and high ad viewability that truly performs for our advertisers.”

— Jeff Lucas, Head of Americas Sales and Global Teams, Oath

“As part of our strategic partnership with Microsoft, Taboola powers content recommendations across Microsoft’s consumer properties in 55 markets and localized for 22 languages. We work together to create highly personalized experiences for consumers, drive engagement, monetization, increase awareness for Microsoft’s internal promotions and enable audience growth. We have seen in our three years of partnership that Microsoft audiences are incredibly valuable. When looking at Microsoft News users discovering content, as opposed to people coming from social or search, they engage 2-3x more, and in many ways are ‘super users’.”

— Adam Singolda, Founder and CEO, Taboola

Curated news by editors

Every day, our publishing partners send us more than 100,000 unique pieces of content.  Our AI scans the content as it arrives, processes it to understand dimensions like freshness, category, topic type, opinion content and potential popularity and then presents it for our editors. Our algorithms suggest appropriate photos to pair with content to help bring stories to life. Editors then curate the top stories throughout the day, across a variety of topics, so our readers get the latest news from the best sources.

This curation process is global, using editors with local expertise. Today, there are more than 800 editors working from 50 locations around the world – including editorial newsrooms serving multiple regions in India, Germany, France, Mexico, Canada and Spain. Many of our editors have extensive backgrounds in media and journalism and have worked at a variety of news organizations including The Washington Post, The Chicago Tribune, Globe and Mail, Newsday, NBCSports.com, Seattle Times, Asahi Shimbun and Associated Press.

Microsoft News Editors at Delhi Media Center

Microsoft News Editors at Delhi Media Center

Diversity, in our newsroom and in the publishers we partner with, is a key ingredient of the Microsoft News experience. We carefully compose our pages every day to present multiple sides of a story and consciously curate a wide variety of opinion pieces so that our readers can explore issues via new and different perspectives. We believe thoughtful opinion pieces—which we clearly mark as such—help readers better understand the news. With that goal in mind, we’re always assessing our network of partners to ensure that we provide the most diverse, credible and well-rounded content available.

At Microsoft News, we’re constantly refining and improving our experiences to continue to serve the needs of people and partners around the globe. We hope you will visit MSN.com, the Microsoft Edge Start page and give the new app a try!

Updated June 20, 2018 11:47 am

AWS and Microsoft announce Gluon, making deep learning accessible to all developers – News Center

New open source deep learning interface allows developers to more easily and quickly build machine learning models without compromising training performance. Jointly developed reference specification makes it possible for Gluon to work with any deep learning engine; support for Apache MXNet available today and support for Microsoft Cognitive Toolkit coming soon.

SEATTLE and REDMOND, Wash. — Oct. 12, 2017 — On Thursday, Amazon Web Services Inc. (AWS), an Amazon.com company (NASDAQ: AMZN), and Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ: MSFT) announced a new deep learning library, called Gluon, that allows developers of all skill levels to prototype, build, train and deploy sophisticated machine learning models for the cloud, devices at the edge and mobile apps. The Gluon interface currently works with Apache MXNet and will support Microsoft Cognitive Toolkit (CNTK) in an upcoming release. With the Gluon interface, developers can build machine learning models using a simple Python API and a range of prebuilt, optimized neural network components. This makes it easier for developers of all skill levels to build neural networks using simple, concise code, without sacrificing performance. AWS and Microsoft published Gluon’s reference specification so other deep learning engines can be integrated with the interface. To get started with the Gluon interface, visit https://github.com/gluon-api/gluon-api/.

Developers build neural networks using three components: training data, a model and an algorithm. The algorithm trains the model to understand patterns in the data. Because the volume of data is large and the models and algorithms are complex, training a model often takes days or even weeks. Deep learning engines like Apache MXNet, Microsoft Cognitive Toolkit and TensorFlow have emerged to help optimize and speed the training process. However, these engines require developers to define the models and algorithms up front using lengthy, complex code that is difficult to change. Other deep learning tools make model-building easier, but this simplicity can come at the cost of slower training performance.

The Gluon interface gives developers the best of both worlds — a concise, easy-to-understand programming interface that enables developers to quickly prototype and experiment with neural network models, and a training method that has minimal impact on the speed of the underlying engine. Developers can use the Gluon interface to create neural networks on the fly, and to change their size and shape dynamically. In addition, because the Gluon interface brings together the training algorithm and the neural network model, developers can perform model training one step at a time. This means it is much easier to debug, update and reuse neural networks.

“The potential of machine learning can only be realized if it is accessible to all developers. Today’s reality is that building and training machine learning models require a great deal of heavy lifting and specialized expertise,” said Swami Sivasubramanian, VP of Amazon AI. “We created the Gluon interface so building neural networks and training models can be as easy as building an app. We look forward to our collaboration with Microsoft on continuing to evolve the Gluon interface for developers interested in making machine learning easier to use.”

“We believe it is important for the industry to work together and pool resources to build technology that benefits the broader community,” said Eric Boyd, corporate vice president of Microsoft AI and Research. “This is why Microsoft has collaborated with AWS to create the Gluon interface and enable an open AI ecosystem where developers have freedom of choice. Machine learning has the ability to transform the way we work, interact and communicate. To make this happen we need to put the right tools in the right hands, and the Gluon interface is a step in this direction.”

“FINRA is using deep learning tools to process the vast amount of data we collect in our data lake,” said Saman Michael Far, senior vice president and CTO, FINRA. “We are excited about the new Gluon interface, which makes it easier to leverage the capabilities of Apache MXNet, an open source framework that aligns with FINRA’s strategy of embracing open source and cloud for machine learning on big data.”

“I rarely see software engineering abstraction principles and numerical machine learning playing well together — and something that may look good in a tutorial could be hundreds of lines of code,” said Andrew Moore, dean of the School of Computer Science at Carnegie Mellon University. “I really appreciate how the Gluon interface is able to keep the code complexity at the same level as the concept; it’s a welcome addition to the machine learning community.”

“The Gluon interface solves the age old problem of having to choose between ease of use and performance, and I know it will resonate with my students,” said Nikolaos Vasiloglou, adjunct professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at Georgia Institute of Technology. “The Gluon interface dramatically accelerates the pace at which students can pick up, apply and innovate on new applications of machine learning. The documentation is great, and I’m looking forward to teaching it as part of my computer science course and in seminars that focus on teaching cutting-edge machine learning concepts across different cities in the U.S.”

“We think the Gluon interface will be an important addition to our machine learning toolkit because it makes it easy to prototype machine learning models,” said Takero Ibuki, senior research engineer at DOCOMO Innovations. “The efficiency and flexibility this interface provides will enable our teams to be more agile and experiment in ways that would have required a prohibitive time investment in the past.”

The Gluon interface is open source and available today in Apache MXNet 0.11, with support for CNTK in an upcoming release. Developers can learn how to get started using Gluon with MXNet by viewing tutorials for both beginners and experts available by visiting https://mxnet.incubator.apache.org/gluon/.

About Amazon Web Services

For 11 years, Amazon Web Services has been the world’s most comprehensive and broadly adopted cloud platform. AWS offers over 90 fully featured services for compute, storage, networking, database, analytics, application services, deployment, management, developer, mobile, Internet of Things (IoT), Artificial Intelligence (AI), security, hybrid and enterprise applications, from 44 Availability Zones (AZs) across 16 geographic regions in the U.S., Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Germany, India, Ireland, Japan, Korea, Singapore, and the UK. AWS services are trusted by millions of active customers around the world — including the fastest-growing startups, largest enterprises, and leading government agencies — to power their infrastructure, make them more agile, and lower costs. To learn more about AWS, visit https://aws.amazon.com.

About Amazon

Amazon is guided by four principles: customer obsession rather than competitor focus, passion for invention, commitment to operational excellence, and long-term thinking. Customer reviews, 1-Click shopping, personalized recommendations, Prime, Fulfillment by Amazon, AWS, Kindle Direct Publishing, Kindle, Fire tablets, Fire TV, Amazon Echo, and Alexa are some of the products and services pioneered by Amazon. For more information, visit www.amazon.com/about and follow @AmazonNews.

About Microsoft

Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT” @microsoft) is the leading platform and productivity company for the mobile-first, cloud-first world, and its mission is to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more.

For more information, press only:

Microsoft Media Relations, WE Communications for Microsoft, (425) 638-7777, rrt@we-worldwide.com

Note to editors: For more information, news and perspectives from Microsoft, please visit the Microsoft News Center at http://news.microsoft.com. Web links, telephone numbers and titles were correct at time of publication, but may have changed. For additional assistance, journalists and analysts may contact Microsoft’s Rapid Response Team or other appropriate contacts listed at http://news.microsoft.com/microsoft-public-relations-contacts.