Microsoft is pulling out of the joint venture that owned MSNBC.com, freeing the world's largest software maker to build its own online news service. NBC is buying Microsoft's 50% interest in the website and will rebrand it NBCNews.com.
The annual subscription for Honolulu Civil Beat is a pricey $240, attracting plenty of skeptics. But don't count it out yet -- Omidyar may have timed the bottom of the paid-content news market well. Watch this space for an indicator of where the news business is headed.