Microsoft targets Google News

— 11:57 AM on November 19, 2003

Microsoft is working on a news site that, like Google News, aggregates stories from a number of different sources. However, unlike Google News, the MSN Newsbot will be capable of customizing news content based on a user's personal preferences.

Microsoft is not revealing exactly how its site will work. But experts say there are several possible types of algorithm that could be used. One is similar to those uses to recommend additional books a buyer might like.

This algorithm analyses the other choices of people who have already bought the first book. A news site would instead group articles according to the reading patterns of previous users.

Another approach would be to analyse the text of articles and relate them to each other via common words and phrases, assuming that a reader wants to read articles with similar content.

I'm sure the tin foil hat crowd will no doubt accuse the Newsbot of customizing content to eliminate stories critical of Microsoft, but the Newsbot is intriguing nonetheless.
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