New York Times reader out for Mac, still a bad idea

From Gizmodo:

Not so hot on the heels of its Microsoft-built Windows-based counterpart, the Times Reader beta has been made available for all members of NYTimes.com. Although a Silverlight install is required, it’s relatively painless and a small price to pay for Reader’s efficient news presentation and olde timey typefaces. There are no subscription fees for now, but Mac users can expect to join the $14.95 a month party when the software goes final.

New York Times reader for Mac

I’m not sold. People are going to pay fifteen bucks a month for this? Are they planning on taking away the normal web site? Also, it’s built in Silverlight??? Seriously? The only thing worse than Flash is a Microsoft clone of Flash.

NYT: please, just make the web experience better. Don’t be tempted by proprietary interfaces that give you more control over your users. You seem to understand that net neutrality is about transparency. The technologies you use should be transparent too. Support open source. Support open standards. This is a step in the wrong direction.

(Thanks to Adam for the tip.)

UPDATE: Fixed a tiny typo.

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2 thoughts on “New York Times reader out for Mac, still a bad idea

  1. I don’t think it’s accurate to describe Silverlight — and it’s MUCH cooler cousin AIR — as Flash clones.

    The two allow for a great deal of online-offline flexibility which Flash absolutely can’t do. The underlying architectures are different.

    That said: I had a chance to talk with the MS folks in Austin and you are right that choosing MS over Adobe will likely prove to be a bad choice. If you haven’t tried out AIR applications, I suggest it because you’ll see very quickly what the new app offers that Flash doesn’t.

  2. You’re right. I was oversimplifying to suggest they were clones. They’re very different. And they have different goals.

    The web has changed how software is delivered. The most cutting-edge applications today are online. All you need is a browser.

    Silverlight is Microsoft’s reaction to the web. Applications built in HTML and Flash threaten their dominance as a platform.

    If I had any advice for Microsoft, it would be this: embrace the new ecosystem. Compete by building better software, not by creating a new platform.

    Also: I don’t believe in the necessity of online/offline applications. They’re a very, very expensive stopgap. We’re moments from being online, all the time. If Gmail/Hotmail/Yahoo Mail can tell us anything, it’s that most people don’t need offline portability.

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