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11/16/2006
08:40 PM
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Melitta Peddling Microsoft-Powered Coffeemaker That Tells You The Weather

The Melitta Smart Mill And Brew, which went on sale Thursday, uses Microsoft's MSN Direct wireless service to display current weather conditions, the day's forecast, and sunrise and sunset times.

Melitta is the first to market with a coffee maker that uses Microsoft technology to offer the latest weather with that cup of java.

The Melitta Smart Mill and Brew landed on retail shelves Thursday. Using Microsoft's specialized wireless service, called MSN Direct, the appliance automatically displays weather conditions, the day's forecast, probability of precipitation, and sunrise and sunset times.

"We are all busy people, constantly on the go. Everyone needs up-to-date weather information, and this is a fun, new way to get weather with a quick glance," Eric Lang, general manager of Microsoft Smart Personal Objects Technology initiative, said in a statement.

The MSN Direct weather service, a result of the SPOT initiative, is delivered in the United States and Canada over a network based on FM radio broadcast signals. The service is not available in all cities and towns. Other products that have incorporated the service include "smart watches" made by Abacus, Fossil and Suunto.

The Melitta coffeemaker sells for $200, which includes the weather service.

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