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April 30, 2006

Each Newspaper Will Have A Software To Read It

Why go to to read the latest news from New York Times when you can install a simple program that lets you view the news on your desktop? That's what Microsoft must have said to the New York Times board to convince them they need Times Reader, a PC-based software application for news distribution.

Overall, the Times Reader enhances the onscreen reading experience through Windows Presentation Foundation, Microsoft'’s advanced display technology in Windows Vista. The text in Times Reader is displayed in columns and formats to fit the size and layout of any computer screen and enables readers to customize the display according to personal preferences, such as font size and content relevance. The Times Reader also uses the same font styles as the printed newspaper, extending the strong brand identity of The New York Times.

It's really strange to see a high-tech company like Microsoft creating a software that essentially delivers the same content that can be found on a site. People can customize a site using custom stylesheets, Greasemonkey scripts and New York Times could have let the users change the font size or the layout.

And why creating a software that displays news from one source? It's like developing a RSS Reader that reads just one feed. The other papers will want their own paper-like viewer and Microsoft will replicate Times Reader instead of developing some widgets that could be integrated in Vista Sidebar.

It's ironic to see applications like Microsoft Word moving online (Writely, Office Live), while New York Times' site moves offline.


  1. Microsoft has the right idea. Web browsers are great and very useful, but the best option for accessing and reading content on the web will be client side applications running WPF.

    Web sites are terrible in terms of how they utilize screen real estate. I look forward to not having to continually hit the scroll buttom to see never ending content. And web sites designed for 640x480 displays. ...

  2. Microsoft is finally giving in to publishers' demands for WYSIWYG display -- after decades of fighting them with a readability-oriented solution in Microsoft Reader.