As we previously posted in a study on American newspapers and their use of the internet, the formatting of newspapers and the internet don't really go hand in hand. It has been a struggle for the folks at McClatchy and the New York Times Company to develop profitable methods as the internet sprawl continues its onward march.

Let me introduce the NY Times Reader, a desktop-based web application designed for reading the times on your laptop or tablet PC. It made its initial windows release in 2007, but just today the NYT digital production team announced the macintosh release (beta).

With a monthly subscription price of $14.95, it clocks in at a substantial discount over home delivery (this varies depending on your location) and has a host of features that the traditional bi-fold simply cannot offer. To me, the standout features were a rotating selection of crossword puzzles and the seven day archive of previous papers. The application updates automatically, and once papers are loaded they can be read while your laptop is offline; this is convenient when you're on the subway or lost at sea .

As many Macintosh users have already pointed out on the digital production team's release, the apple-friendly port requires the installation of Microsoft's Silverlight plug-in (the project was a collaboration between the NYT and Microsoft). Here's a tip for success: don't try and force Macintosh fans to use Microsoft products. I heard somewhere that they don't usually appreciate it.

I'm interested to see if anybody has used this application. It seems like they took the cue from the "Adobe AIR approach" and went in a direction that could be more successful than trying to profit from just a web-based reading service. Thoughts? Predictions?

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