Years ago, I loved SPOT watches. While the watches did not survive, the underlying technology evolved into the .NET Micro Framework, and the application went away - at least that is what I thought. Now, I see that they are involved in several app scenarios (navigational devices and appliances) including a Windows Mobile 6 technology preview, still named MSN Direct for Windows Mobile. While the app does not run on all phones, it runs on the popular WM6 smartphones and provides Top News Stories, Weather, Stocks, World News, Sports, and Entertainment.

I've always appreciated that this application gives the latest news in a quick way, but this new version goes further by relying on the WM6 device's ability to browse into a more detailed version. To top all of this, this application is FREE! I also like that it will consider if I'm roaming in order to respect my data plan (optional setting), plus they have provide other customization options.

The application also installs a MSN Direct theme, which makes it a part of the home screen. It has the appearance of the WM 6.1 panel UI. Although a nice features, my only gripe with this is that it removes the rest of the WM 6.1 panels with their home screen. This is my only gripe about the application, and I hope that they address this in the future.

Check it out if you're a news junky who doesn't have time to watch TV all day long.