Microsoft are testing their Newsbot service outside Europe, as a competitor to Google’s News offering.
Google News is still in beta, but has proved an invaluable service to many. It works by scraping submitted sites for news headlines and emailing out alerts. MSN Newsbot has a much busier user interface than the typically sparse Google offering.
Newsbot is powered by the new MSN Search engine and scrapes 4,800 sources for stories, but does not as yet have an email alert function. Microsoft that the site is for delivering targeted news to visitors, rather than emailing headlines. To customise content, MS use Passport and keep track of items clicked on.
The site claims: “By gathering together news from around the world and tracking the interests of users of the site, we determine which stories are most popular and suggest stories that you may want to follow based on the patterns of other users.”
Microsoft are working with Moreover on this trial and claim that the site can build up a profile of a user’s interests after only ten minutes of surfing.