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MWC08: Microsoft takes MSN Direct from your watch to your phone

I thoroughly enjoy using my T-Mobile Shadow Windows Mobile Smartphone and am also a bit of a fan of the MSN Direct SPOT watches. Microsoft announced a new service and application for Windows Mobile Smartphones (Standard, non-touch screen devices) that is available now for free as a Technology Preview. MSN Direct for Windows Mobile is available now for your compatible device. It does not work on Windows Mobile Professional (touch screen) devices.
Written by Matthew Miller, Contributing Writer

I thoroughly enjoy using my T-Mobile Shadow Windows Mobile Smartphone and am also a bit of a fan of the MSN Direct SPOT watches. Microsoft announced a new service and application for Windows Mobile Smartphones (Standard, non-touch screen devices) that is available now for free as a Technology Preview. MSN Direct for Windows Mobile is available now for your compatible device. It does not work on Windows Mobile Professional (touch screen) devices.

MSN Direct for Windows Mobile brings you several of the feeds found in the MSN Direct watches, but since the data is being sent over the wireless networks and not over the same FM radio frequency that is used to send data to the watches there are some differences. You will be able to get news stories, weather updates, stock quotes, and sports news sent to you without any interaction necessary on your part. The intent of MSN Direct is to make the data "glanceable" so you do not have to really interact with your device too much to view it. Unlike the Spot watches that pick up your location based on the signal, you will have to enter your location to get local weather and news content.

There is no service fcr movie times, traffic, and daily quotes channels that you will find on MSN Direct. There is no need for the Messenger or Calendar`channels since Windows Mobile devices already have this full functionality. Make sure you have an unlimited data connection since the service is "always on".

I downloaded it and tried it out here in Spain with the pay-as-you-go SIM card I purchased today. It appears on your Home screen, but on the Shadow that means you lose all of the cool Neo interface stuff. Weather, stocks, and sponsors were the only channels that appeared on my device so I will have to give it some more time before seeing if MSN Direct for Windows Mobile is useful since most of this kind of information can be added with plug-ins.

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