MSNBC.com and Microsoft have teamed up to provide an Action Engine-powered standalone application for mobile devices that allows for quick access to news stories, videos, and photo slideshows without to need to launch a browser. Initially available as a download for a handful of Windows Mobile devices, with support for Java/BREW-enabled phones promised in the coming months, the free applet and corresponding service are ad-supported -- with the first ad spots purchased by, you guessed it, Microsoft. We took the video component through a quick run through on our PPC-6700 (shhh, don't tell Sprint!), and found the viewing experience to be quite pleasant over EV-DO, with smooth frame rates and tinny-but-acceptable audio throughout. That's not to say we'll give up streaming real MSNBC and other unedited content over Orb (again, shhh!), but this mobile app will at least retain a place on our storage card for quick access to headlines and "Today Show" clips.

[Via Business Wire]

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