MSN Direct could put live content on WM6 home screens

At 3GSM in Barcelona today, Microsoft announced a preview of its MSN Direct service now available for devices with Windows Mobile, that will put weather, sports scores, business, stocks, and entertainment news on their home screens.

Microsoft promises all news and stock tickers will be easy to read, and users will be able to select what information is shown on their mobile phone by relevance and/or preference.

Customers can either download MSN Direct through their phone, or onto a PC or other mobile device that can be connected to their phone. While Microsoft is offering MSN Direct for free, users should double-check to make sure their carriers don't charge them for it anyway.

This is the first time Microsoft has tried to adapt the service specifically to mobile phones.

In 2004, a version of MSN Direct was deployed for Smart Personal Objects Technology (SPOT) watches, which allowed users to have instant access to the same news directly on their watch. Although the technology itself worked fine, customers weren't ready or willing to pay for a SPOT-enabled watch and its service charges.

Microsoft hopes to revive MSN Direct with the help of mobile phones and Personal Navigation Devices (PNDs), where there are only a small number of viable competitors in a growing market.

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