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Zinio Reader in Microsoft's Crosshairs with Times Reader

Most magazines and newspapers are now offering a digital edition that's essentially an electronic replica (including fonts, typeface and layout) of the print version. The digital versions can be read in either Acrobat Reader (PDF) or the Zinio Reader format.

While the print circulation continues to decline, digital versions of magazines and e-newspapers are registering a healthy growth because they can be searched, archived and are easily available in any corner of the world. Yes, you can read the latest issue of Penthouse in Saudi Arabia or even China.

No wonder, Microsoft is now looking to even tap this digital publishing market.

At the American Society of Newspaper Editors's conference in Seattle, Billl Gates showcased the Times Reader, an Onscreen Reader software for Windows Vista that resembles very much like the Zinio Reader. Virtually any newspaper, magazine or book can be formatted into an electronic version and read online or offline with the Times Reader.

Once users download the content from the internet, instead of scrolling down the length of a page, users would be able to flip from one page to another. Users can change the font or window size and the text will reflow itself, allowing for better reading on devices with different-size screens. The electronic paper is displayed in columns and it formats itself to fit any size screen.

The Times Reader is developed by the New York Times. The Times Reader is different from the New York Times RSS reader widget for Yahoo Widget Engine (formerly Konfabulator).

What's the next Microsoft target ? Adobe Indesign or QuarkXPress ?

Source: Press Release | NYTimes | NYTimes | Presspass