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MSN Direct For Windows Mobile Smartphones Launched

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Microsoft has made available software for Windows Mobile Smartphones that gives free access to news and weather information, thanks to its MSN Direct network. Any Smartphone (that’s a phone running Windows Mobile 5.0 Smartphone or Windows Mobile 6 Standard) can pick up the download at phone.msndirect.com.

The software, which requires a data connection (any you can provide, whether EDGE, 3G, Wi-fi, whatever), adds a module to your device’s home screen. The section shows the top item from a single category, and is the only way to access the software (there isn’t a program in the Programs list to launch). You can thus see the top story in any category, the weather, or stock quotes on your home screen at all times, and scroll through the top items in each category without leaving the screen.

Select that module, and you actually launch the software. There, each section appears as a page, which you navigate through be pressing left and right. You can view top stories, specific news sections (which you turn on or off in the Top Stories preferences), weather (you select your local city and any number of other cities, and can see today’s weather at different times plus the next few days) and stock quotes (again, which you can choose).

On any page, you can usually scroll up an down and select an item for more information. You can get even further information, at which point the software will usually launch your web browser. There are sponsor ads at the top of each page, and in their own Sponsor section, which you can ignore or check out if interested.

The software is certainly useful, especially in the way it is integrated, and is a free no-risk decision anyways. The worst thing about it? It only runs on smartphones, and not the more capable touchscreen PDA phones. Also, when not selected, the home screen section blends in too well, and thus looks a bit strange just showing a floating headline (except for when it has a thumbnail image, which is rare).

Phones it definitely supports:

  • AT&T BlackJack I
  • AT&T BlackJack II
  • AT&T Moto Q Global
  • AT&T 3125
  • Sprint Moto Q 9c
  • Sprint Moto Q
  • T-Mobile Shadow
  • T-Mobile Dash
  • T-Mobile SDA
  • Unicel Motorola Q
  • Verizon Wireless SMT5800
  • Verizon Wireless Moto Q 9m
  • Verizon Wireless Motorola Q
  • HTC S710
  • HTC S730

If you have a Smartphone not on this list, you are welcome to try, but I wouldn’t even attempt to install it on a touchscreen device. I did, and it refused to install on my T-Mobile MDA. Luckily, my wife has the SDA, so now she gets the benefit of this software, and I’m left wondering why my more advanced phone, running practically the same operating system, isn’t allowed to use it.
(via Loke Uei Tan)

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MSN Direct For Windows Mobile Smartphones Launched
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