New MSN Direct Services Coming to a Watch Near You Soon

By Craig Newell  |  Posted 2004-04-07 Print this article Print

MSN is working to add horoscopes, lottery results, movie times and more to the service that powers the SPOT watches.

Microsoft Corp.s MSN Direct service is only a few months old, but the company already is expanding rapidly the content available via the SPOT smart watches. The next MSN Direct channels Microsoft is slated to add include "daily diversions" (horoscopes, lottery results, etc.), local traffic conditions, dining information and movie times, sources said. Microsoft launched MSN Direct and the first Smart Personal Object Technology (SPOT) smart watches during this years Consumer Electronics Show in January. MSN Direct is the service that delivers content to SPOT devices over FM-radio subcarriers in major U.S. and Canadian markets. The first SPOT devices are wristwatches from Fossil and Suunto.
Microsoft launched SPOT and MSN Direct initially with news, stock quotes, weather, as well as a calendar synchronized with Microsoft Outlook. The first new "channel" Microsoft added after the initial release of the MSN Direct service was the sports channel. Microsoft added sports shortly before the NCAA March Madness tournament began.
Currently, basketball is the only sport for which online scores and standings are available. But Microsoft Project Manager Chris Schneider told Microsoft Watch "Were looking at bringing baseball to the sports channel soon." To read the full article, go to Microsoft Watch.

Craig Newell joined Ziff Davis Internet as Associate Editor in June 2003.

Prior to that, he served as a freelance editor for Ziff Davis.

Newell began his reporting at BetaNews, a site dedicated to news surrounding pre-release software.

In 2001, he joined Ziff Davis' eWEEK as a freelance reporter covering America Online Inc. where he broke several important stories including unreleased details on America Online's software client. He has also served as an online community producer for and worked on MSNBC's daytime news programming.


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