Microsoft Rebrands MSN News As Microsoft News, Launches New Mobile Apps

Posted on June 20, 2018 by Mehedi Hassan in Microsoft with 23 Comments

Microsoft is announcing a big upgrade to its news platform — MSN News. The company is dropping the MSN branding, rebranding the platform to Microsoft News. Microsoft is launching new apps for Android and iOS to accompany the new brand, too.

The new Microsoft News apps on Android and iOS have been “redesigned” completely, according to the company. The new apps feature personalization upgrades powered by AI that will deliver news based on your interests and your local area. The update also brings a new dark theme, simplified widgets for both the operating systems, a new continuous reading experience, and increased control over breaking news alerts. Even though Microsoft is marketing the new apps as a complete redesign, it’s still identical to the MSN News apps. If you have used the MSN News apps before, the experience will feel incredibly similar. In fact, it doesn’t feel like a redesign at all.

It’s not clear why exactly Microsoft is dropping the MSN branding here — but since the platform powers the news feed on Microsoft Edge, the news app in Windows 10, as well as on Skype and, the Microsoft branding certainly makes much more sense. Like Google, Microsoft says the company is heavily investing in the industry to help support the publishing ecosystem and deliver quality journalism, with more than 800 editors working to curate news on the platform every day.

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Comments (23)

23 responses to “Microsoft Rebrands MSN News As Microsoft News, Launches New Mobile Apps”

  1. Lewk

    I find it ironic that they're only "updating/rebranding" the iOS and android apps when I do all my reading on my desktop PC and Surface Pro. I personally despise reading on my phone as the screen is too small. However I understand why they're targeting the mobile platforms with this as I presume most people just read on their phones.

    The MSN news app used to be stellar, but it the past year has become a wasteland of terrible entertainment/celebrity garbage I cannot stand. It's too bad, they had something nice and have since ruined it, well before this rebrand.

  2. roastedwookie

    Meh...Google News is far better. No thanks MS.

  3. rth314

    And there still is no way to filter out garbage news sources like Fox News. If Microsoft is serious about a News app, they need to allow their users to choose their news sources.

  4. pwrof3

    Wait, didn't i start out as Microsoft News back on WP 8.1, and then they switched over to MSN branding? Am I remembering correctly?

  5. Pbike908

    I've always been a big fan of their news app. I downloaded the new app on Android and it looks good. I have found Microsofts editors do a great job of selecing articles from multiple sources with different view points.

  6. DXtremeBob

    The Microsoft News app is fine, in my opinion. I have noticed no bias.

  7. Eric Dunbar

    The moment I saw this I thought: "this is the beginning of the end".

    Microsoft just officially announced their exit from the consumer market space. First Windows Phone folded. Now this.

    They've decided to go corporate and cloud only.

    Soon we'll see Microsoft rebrand its software division as MS or something like that.

    Who in their right mind puts their brand on the firing line like this?

    With very few exceptions news is a partisan business.

    Fox. CNN. PBS. Quick. If you're American: what political lean do they have?

    Chances are you identified one. If there's a political lean that means partisans will have a reason to avoid you. Since when it's providing an operating system, productivity suite and cloud services a political activity?

    Apple, Google and now Amazon too will be rubbing their hands with glee!

    When I think of Microsoft I think of a technology company.

    When I think of MSN I think of click bait stories.

    This is a HUGE mistake. Microsoft is rebranding itself to be synonymous with a click bait news site?

    PS perhaps in the US it's a quality site but when I just visited MSN as a Canadian guest I was struck by (a) the click bait nature of the headlines and (b) the heavy dose of US news (I really don't give two cents about domestic US political scandals).

    I guess if MSN is a quality site in the US that would be in line with how Microsoft has focused it's consumer efforts in recent years.

    For example, Cortana is almost useless outside of the United States. The u.s. population comprises only a 20th of the world which means that 19 out of 20 humans are not properly served by Cortana. That means Google, Amazon and Apple have an opportunity to out-compete Microsoft with 19 out of 20 human beings.

    If MSN is not a quality site in the US--what were they thinking?

    • fbman

      In reply to OntarioPundit:

      MS still think the US is the entire market, with that small minded approach of course your technology will be next to useless outside the US. Their competitors are embracing the world market, with some success. the only huge failure in the world market was the chrome book.

      For me, Windows 10 is basically windows 7 with an app store. Even our app store is a fraction of the US one. We only have an app and games tab.

  8. Bats

    The brand "MSN" is better. It's better simply because it has less letters than the nine that is in the name "Microsoft." PLUS....they want to attach the corporate brand to the news? That's like Fox News Channel rebranding to call itself "Twentieth Century Fox News Channel." 

    IMO, it's a stupid move. Corporate brands such as "Google" and "Apple" do not sound corporate. However, Microsoft does. It's one of the reasons why their brand fails in the market. Seriously, who buys a "Microsoft" watch? or a "Microsoft" phone? 

    MSN is way better. Even though it stands for Microsoft Network, the word Microsoft can be hidden. Again, there is ABC News. Not "American Broadcasting Company News."

  9. Mark from CO


    Forgive the conspiratorial tone, but I do not want Microsoft or Google or Apple, or any tech organization be picking and choosing editors to curate news on their platform every day. I don't trust any of them to maintain balance or fairness. The trend of having our news flow through the $$$ channel of a few tech giants is not, in my view, a positive for democracy.

    Mark from CO

    • chrisrut

      In reply to Mark from CO:

      OK, so the option is what? That we each curate the media flow ourselves? Somebody, somewhere has to mediate the flow. And if not the media, or tech giants, then who? That would at best require the assistance of an AI. Which again would mean a hidden finger on the scale.

      The alternative would be for AI to actually become YOUR agent, not theirs, so it could and would act on your behalf, as your proxy, based on an intimate knowledge of you.

      Two side effects: such would definitely narrow one's perspective. Done right, nothing would interfere with one's laser-like focus on the one and only truth... which you need to already know, in order to teach it to the AI...

      And of course, then we'd have something to be really paranoid about, for this self-guided AI would know everything about us - and if it couldn't be trusted... Heeeeey - who programmed it? Oh wait, the tech giants. Sad trombone...

    • James Thompson

      In reply to Mark from CO:

      Give “News and News” a try. Available on iOS and Android. They’re purposely curated for balance, and have a “bias meter” to show which way the headlines are currently swinging.

      No affiliation, just found them randomly.

    • Pierre Masse

      In reply to Mark from CO:

      I think they are curating the news to choose from reliable and unreliable sources, not from left-center-right point of view. Good journalism should be neutral in all circumstances, with the exception of editorials, op-eds and chronicles. In Google news, there is a button you click to have the opportunity to see all the sources on a certain topic, which is a good thing. I don't know if Microsoft News have this option.

  10. harmjr

    On the Microsoft Launcher for Android the MSN shortcuts are still there and they no longer working. I actually made my own shortcut in another folder for News on the home screen besides the Microsoft folder they create by default that folder even in the Microsoft folder it too does not work there either.

    One other critical note in your apps list its just named "News" and its icon is a red circle with a image of a newspaper not really that distinguishable from other news apps. It took me a bit to find it and re-pin to my desired location.

    This new app looks a lot like Flipboard app but it does not flip but scrolls.

    The app does seem nice. I like the thumb buttons at the bottom.

    • TroyTruax

      In reply to harmjr: I uninstalled and reinstalled to get the icon working on my Microsoft Launcher. I found it humorous that after going to all the trouble of switching the branding to Microsoft News the icon shows up as News (under N).

  11. Eric Flickner

    MSN as a brand needs to die, just like AOL did.

  12. Hoomgar

    The MSN name is well known and been around for a long time.  Why mess with it now?  Personally I don't give a rip what they call it.  I use all the news sites to get a better picture since they often do not always share the same details on stories.