Both Microsoft and Apple are out to make a big splash in the news scene with News Pro and subscription-based services on the News app respectively.
Microsoft has just rolled out the Bing-powered News Pro for iOS, which bears some similarities with the built-in news app on Apple devices. According to the company, it provides "hyper-relevant news for your work," a personalized feed tailored to each user's interests.
Readers will be able to get the news in four categories: Industries, Organizations, Skills and Products. Under those sections, there are subcategories that range from Information Technology and Services in Industries to specific items such as Google Maps and Gmail in Products.
To sign in, users can simply connect using their LinkedIn or Facebook accounts, which will allow the app to provide an even better feed that's filled with more stories that may interest them.
Meanwhile, Apple is planning to implement subscription-based services for premium content on its News app in a bid to make the service distinct from the slew of other similar apps such as the Facebook-owned Instant Articles.
The exact details of how the Cupertino brand will authenticate subscribers and whether it will take a portion of the payments from the people who signed up through the app are currently vague. Nevertheless, the update clearly provides publishers a way to communicate with their readers.
Publications on Apple's News app which employ a subscription-only basis will have the option to share articles for free or just fragments of news stories that'll redirect users to log in to their websites to read more of them. However, it appears that Apple doesn't provide the publishers enough information regarding their readers.
"Ensuring subscription mechanisms in our off-platform distribution partnerships is critical," Katie Vanneck-Smith, chief customer officer of Dow Jones, which publishes The Wall Street Journal, tells Reuters.
The two apps that Microsoft and Apple have brought to the table arguably have little or no difference, where the defining point mainly lies in the fact that News Pro is powered by Bing.
At any rate, both companies are are carrying out measures on their own terms to take prominent spots in the online news industry.