This just in….on the Wii?

Earlier today, the wire services reported Nintendo had partnered with the Associated Press to provide an online news service through the Wii gaming platform.  Network connected Wii consoles will be able to access a free news channel through an Opera Web Browser.  As part of a 2 year multimedia distribution contract, the free news channel (there are no plans for it to be ad-supported at this time) will provide content from AP in multiple languages including French, English, Spanish and German. Additional Japanese language news will be provided by Goo, a Japanese news company.

The planned interface for the news is a graphic map.  Users will be able to navigate around the map to find regional news, and can zoom in and out to expand focus, all using the Wii’s innovative motion sensing controller.

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Check out a book from the Internet Library

“Making up for lost time” and “better late than never” underscore some of Microsoft’s efforts to compete and keep up with Google.    

Given Google’s published mission to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful, efforts to digitize and index vast libraries is a natural way point on their roadmap.   With efforts over the past year Microsoft has been both catching up and making sure that road is at least a two lane highway.

With a deal widely announced in October, Microsoft partnered with high speed scanning service firm Kirtas Technologies to advance its efforts.  Kirtas’ services allow Microsoft scan as many as 2400 pages per hour.  While October is way back on the calendar from the point of breaking news, the deal, and the ongoing arms race between Microsoft and Google to sign up library/content partnerships makes it as timely as ever – and escalating

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