Microsoft “Codename Max” News

msmax_news.jpgNews agencies and newspapers often bear a grudge against news aggregators like Google News, looking at them as vampires that suck the blood out of a content providers RSS feeds and websites. One could tke a different point of view and argue that instead aggregators are sites that are traffic generators that increase the views of a content providers homepage and hence increase its ad revenues. But that is a different story.
If Google news is the enemy, what are they going to think about “Microsoft Codename Max”? Max is a MS project currently in public beta. Originally more or less an iPhoto-Clone, MS recently added some news capabilities.

These capabilities are touted on the Max homepage with the following words:

“Take a peek at our news feature to keep yourself up to date with all the latest news on technology, health, sports, and more from MSN® Newsbot. One day it might just replace your newspaper!”

Since Max is an application based on the new WinFX runtime compoents that is goin to be the base of Windows Vista, installation on XP required the installation of the respective runtime components for XP and hence was a little bit cumbersome.

But one is rewarded with the nice clean look of WPF and its advanced graphical functionalities, that enable even a long-time apple user like me to have a longer look at the app without eye sore.

The news in a number of different categories are nicely laid out like a number of newspaper pages. Like Google News a click on a teaser takes one to the corresponding newspaper web page. Interestingly, the teasers are enriched by photos not grabbed from the originating site but seemingly provided by Reuters and added manually or semi-)automatically. This should at least settle some of the IPR issues that usually arise with photos shown on news aggregator pages

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