Microsoft is planning to start a multilingual international newspaper. The software giant chief, Bill Gates, told The Spoof, the newspaper would be available only on personal computers across the world, ready for print, from November 1. The deadlines for each time zone have been worked out by Microsoft engineers, so that people in any part of the world with Internet access would get the latest news.
The newspaper, to be called Microsoft Times, Microsoft Post or Microsoft Samachar, will be free and will generate revenue through advertisements.
Ten percent of revenue generated through the advertisements will go towards AIDS research, Gates said.
Asked why he chose The Spoof to make such a major announcement, he said that if Google could choose April 1, April Fool's Day, to launch Gmail, this was a smarter, strategic move that will take Microsoft to the number one spot on Forbes Top 100 annual list.
Among the frontrunners for editorship is said to be Vinay Kamat, a senior editor with the new and hot Mumbai based daily newspaper, DNA (Daily News & Analysis).
Kamat declined to comment, but associates said it was in his DNA to become the editor of the newspaper.
Gates will be its chief patron editor-in-chief and will oversee its day-to-day operations, besides ensuring the right mix of stories for the front page.
Top editors of The New York Times, Washington Post and Seattle Times are said to have declined the billion dollar job, taking the news to be a spoof.
The newspaper will be available in 200 languages, through software designed by Microsoft techies. The newspaper will be produced in English and then translated within seconds.
A Google spokesman said they were negotiating with Microsoft an option of offering a free search in the A4 sized, 100-page newspaper. A source said they would hit back soon and would not take Microsoft latest move lying down.
Yahoo said it would not offer any Microsoft related sites to throw up on its search if the newspaper is launched.
Top media analyst, Ayaz Memon, said Microsoft's newspaper would be revolutionary, but the wicket could turn at any time. He said he would write an exclusive, daily column on cricket for the newspaper.