Microsoft’s MSN portal launched Newsbot last year, a fine effort of indexing and making news stories searchable in the shadow of Yahoo and Google News. Newsbot is in partnership with Moreover news syndication services and too gathers news from over 4,000 sources.
Like Google News, MSN Newsbot clusters the top and most relevant news stories on their Newsbot main page. Currently in beta testing on the MSN’s UK network, Newsbot also has international versions throughout Europe, Asia and Latin America. For a selected Spanish speaking US news audience, MSN offers Newsbot Latino.
Still in beta testing, Newsbot now uses personlaized search to let users view their search history and store past material, a feature MSN calls “The Daily Me.” Adding a bit of Social Networking to MSN Newsbot, “The Daily We” lets users view stories commonly read by other Newsbot visitors with the same taste.
“Personalization is a huge cornerstone for MSN to make search more relevant for consumers,” said Karen Redetzki, MSN product manager told CNet.
Moreover, it looks like Newsbot won’t be Microsoft’s last stop in Social Networking. On the heels of Google’s Orkut, Frindster and other social systems, Microsoft is now fooling around with 3 Degrees. According to Microsoft:
3° is software that connects a small group of family and close friends, people who know and trust one another, so they can do fun things together in a whole new way. 3° is a beta test of an innovative application that lets users connect online, extending real-world social interactions.
With 3° you can:
Throw a personalized animation on your friends’ desktops with winks.
Listen to a shared play list simultaneously, created from music that you own.
Easily send digital photos from last night’s party to your friends.
Initiate group chat with MSN Messenger.
In other words, Microsoft is building and testing a social network which is not only web based, but also has the ability to be used across desktops and MSN Messenger – again, leveraging their MS Windows dominance. If you’d like to beta test “3 dgrees”, “3°”, or “three degrees”, it’s available here.