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Hearst Tests Microsoft News Reader At One Paper; Considering Use At Others

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Hearst’s Seattle Post-Intelligencer began a beta test Thursday of a Microsoft program that lets readers download the entire newspaper onto their computers and portable devices. Once the content is received, readers can view the material without being connected to the web, New York-based Hearst said in a statement. It takes roughly two minutes to download the entire paper. Up to six days of content can also be archived and read. Hearst said it may use the software to provide downloads of its other newspapers, which include the San Francisco Chronicle and Houston Chronicle, and magazines such as Esquire and Cosmopolitan. Downloadable newspapers have been attracting more attention lately. As we noted earlier, Norwegians rejected the idea, while London’s Daily Mail began its experiment this week as well. And everyone’s still waiting to see what will happen with the NYT’s Times Reader. Microsoft worked with Tacoma, Wash.-based developer IdentityMine to produce the software being used in the test program.