The New York Times today said it will begin charging for the use of Reader, a software gadget for displaying a digital version of its paper that Microsoft helped the newspaper develop.
Bill Gates and New York Times Chairman Arthur Sulzberger Jr. demonstrated the software at a newspaper conference in Seattle last April, and Microsoft has since promoted it as an example of a custom interface taking advantage of new Web presentation technologies and the touch-sensitive Tablet PC interface now part of Windows Vista.
A beta version of the Reader has been distributed free, but that will end March 27 when the company it launches as a subscription product, according to a note that testers received this afternoon from Rob Larson, vice president of product management and development for NYTimes.com.
The paper will charge $14.95 a month or $165 a year for the Reader and online access to its premium content.
People who subscribe to the print version of the paper will be able to use the Reader free.