Beta for NYTimes Reader available

NYTimes Reade (Screenshot)I just noticed (via Read/WriteWeb) that the NYT opened up the beta program of the NYTReader software. Times Reader was unveiled by Arthur Sulzberger Jr. and Bill Gates in Seattle on April 28th this year and seems to be a successor or variant of the software that microsoft code-named “Max“.

The screenshots at Read/WriteWeb look very interesting so, i signed-up. Lets see if i get accepted. Until now i just received a confirmation email.

“TimesReader”: Microsofts digital newspaper proposition?

The hype

On Friday afternoon at the closing session of the American Society of Newspaper Editors (ASNE) conference Bill Gates unveiled a “new” piece of software intruducing the software by saying:

Today we have two worlds that are limiting in their own way,

They are print and the Web. The Web surprisingly is not taking
advantage of its environment.

It looks like this software still doesn’t have a name, but is called “Times
Reader” in a version being developed with “The New York Times”.

The software was then shown off on a TabletPC by Tom Bodkin, assistant managing editor and design director at The New York Times, i.e. saying:

One of the things I find most appealing about the format, is that it
offers a variety of ways to read the content that closely mirrors how
people read the paper content, …

As a reader I find it natural and effortless, as a designer the
application gives me a tool to create a product with a clear visual
identity, …
I’ve become a total convert.

That’s in essence what you can read in the media and what i fear newspaper editors will believe is true. So if this piece of software is microsofts view of the future of digital newspapers one should definitely have a closer look at it.

Continue reading ““TimesReader”: Microsofts digital newspaper proposition?”

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 MSNĀ® 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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