Microsoft to Sell Slate

Microsoft is looking to sell off Slate, their online news/culture/politics magazine after eight years of publication. Slate has about five million readers every month, but has never really made a profit until reporting a modest income in Q1 2004.

Microsoft is already in talks with about five or six potential buyers, and ownership could change hands within the next few weeks.

Slate was launched in 1996 and has evolved alongside the internet, and today it carries advertising and is branded with Microsoft’s MSN identity. A condition of sale is that Slate remains affiliated with MSN – which itself posted its first profit in the first quarter of this year.


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Fraser Lovatt

Fraser Lovatt has spent the last fifteen years working in publishing, TV and the Internet in various capacities, and believes that they will be seperate platforms for at least a while yet. His main interests at the moment are exploring where Linux is taking home entertainment and how technology is conferring technical skills on more and more people. Fraser Lovatt was born in the same year that 2001: A Space Odyssey was delighting and confusing people in the cinemas, and developed a lifelong love of technology as soon as he realised that things could be taken apart, sometimes put back together again, but mostly left in bits or made into something the original designer hadn't quite planned upon. At school he was definitely in the ZX Spectrum/Magpie/BMX camp, rather than the BBC Micro/Blue Peter/well-behaved group. This is all deeply ironic as he later went on to spend nine years working at the BBC. After a few years of working as a bookseller in Scotland, ("Back when it was actually a skilled profession" he'll tell anyone still listening), he moved to England for reasons he can't quite explain adequately to himself. After a couple of publishing jobs punctuated by sporadic bursts of travelling and photography came the aforementioned nine years at the BBC where he specialised in internet technologies and video. These days his primary interests are Java, Linux, videogames and pies - and if they're not candidates for convergence, then what is?