It's no secret that print newspapers are on the decline and media outlets are looking for new and creative ways to distribute themselves.
As the name suggests, The Times Reader is a desktop reading interface designed specifically for reading the New York Times. Times Reader has actually been around for over a year already but was previously based on Microsoft's Silverlight Platform. It's only now that the NYT has switched to the far superior Adobe Air platform that Times Reader looks like a genuine model of the future for all newspaper outlets.
Times Reader displays the print version of the newspaper so you're seeing pretty much what someone who's holding the real thing would. Unfortunately, unless you're a subscriber much of the content is locked but major features such as front page, videos, latest news and most emailed are available. You can scroll and move around the page using the mouse and skip through pages using the arrows. As a bonus, you can search for topics by keyword. Why this search tool doesn't extend beyond 7 days is not clear but maybe it's technical because of how large the NYT archive must be.
Although you can read all of the material in Times Reader in the online version, for a newspaper nostalgic like myself I really liked to look and feel of Times Reader. There's something slightly easier on the eye in terms of the layout, less intrusive advertising and it just feels more..."newspapery". The fact that it's updated regularly too gives it an added appeal and you can click on hyperlinks to be led onto the net edition.
Overall Times Reader is a very impressive application. You can definitely see it as a model for future readers and if you're a newspaper nostalgic, you'll certainly enjoy using it.