Why is The New York Times releasing proprietary readers?

Via (where else) but The New York Times:

Today our beta version of Times Reader for the Mac becomes available. The beta is free for all registered members of NYTimes.com to download and try.

From perusal of the comments, most are none too happy about installing the Microsoft Silverlight plugin in order to make this “reader” work.

Silverlight or no Silverlight, I won’t be installing this application either. I already have a news reader, and it works just fine. Should Marc Andreessen continue the New York Times deathwatch?

UPDATE: The Alley Insider is unimpressed as well.

UPDATE 2: The plugin is a problem anyway.

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