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project emporia

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Microsoft retires Project Emporia

Project Emporia. We’re guessing many of you have not heard of it but some of you seasoned vets surely have. It was one of Microsoft’s many research projects into social, news, cloud computing and other areas of "new media" interest.  But being a research project is just that and it entails a finite end.

Such is the case with Project Emporia, which was an interesting news app for locating stories that pertain to your interest. Think of services like Zite. It had a dedicated audience on Windows Phone and even had a few updates here and there but as of today, it has come to an end...

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Microsoft's experimental news feed program, called Project Emporia, just received a nice upgrade to version 1.2--it's first update in three months. Hailing from Microsoft's Research FUSE labs, this is one of those apps where you are helping Microsoft "test" some new ideas out.

In essence, it's a news reader with the ability to choose by category e.g. technology, politics, etc. But then you can vote up or down stories to better refine your likes, giving you a more tailored user experience:

Every day we face an information overflow; data is coming at us through so many channels that it is difficult to weed out the gems that are important to us from all the noise. For those who are not social media mavens, the whole problem can be intimidating.

Project Emporia offers a solution to this. It sifts through ever-evolving news streams to identify hot news stories, categorizes them into topic areas and ranks them, and then presents them to you in a friendly and easy-to-use UI. With Project Emporia you get relevant stories on topics of YOUR choice.

You can influence how future stories are chosen for you, one vote at a time. Your votes will improve the relevance of your news story choices not just for you, but for every other user as well.

Previous versions were "meh", often being slow and not that fun. Version 1.2 though makes the app much better, in our opinion, since it's now more zippy, has more options available and is basically fun to experiment with. Here are some of the major 1.2 new features:

  • Unified Web and WP7 accounts
  • Facebook and Twitter integration
  • Improved sharing via Twitter
  • Social channels

You can grab Projecct Emporia right here in the Marketplace.

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