MSN Direct service to be discontinued

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It looks like I’ll need to get a new watch before then end of 2011.

At the end of 2011, Microsoft’s “MSN Direct” (formerly known as S.P.O.T. or SPOT) service will be discontinued.

MSN Direct enabled devices used a subscription model to have data pushed to them via unused FM spectrum. This data included local weather, local time, stock quotes, breaking news, movie times and locations, traffic information, gas prices, and even let you get your calendar information and instant messages pushed to supporting devices.

The technology was included in home weather stations, some GPS devices, and even wrist watches (I have one on my wrist right now).

Limitations to the technology included limited coverage, slow data speeds, and limited adoption. The real nail in the coffin, however, was the seeming ubiquity of other data services such as WiFi, the upcoming WiMax, and cellular data plans.

Microsoft has not announced a replacement service or any new partnerships with device manufactures.

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p align=”right”>(Hat tip to Mike Dopp for the link.)

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