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CBS, Amazon launch Windows 7 apps

You probably knew Microsoft was officially launching Windows 7 today after months of beta testing. But that doesn't mean that CEO Steve Ballmer didn't have a few surprises up his sleeve at launch event.

Some of the coolest new features weren't actually from Microsoft. Partners including CBS, Netflix, and Amazon introduced new applications that work with Windows 7.

CBS content including full-length TV shows will now be available directly from Windows 7 Media Center. At a time when Fox, NBC, and ABC are making streaming content available through the Hulu web site, CBS has been holding out. And now maybe we know why. While Hulu Desktop presents a pretty decent 10-foot interface for watching Hulu content, the usage agreement says you're technically not supposed to plug in a TV to use the application. Windows 7 Media Center, on the other hand, is all about making the experience of watching PC content on a big screen TV easier.

Microsoft also announced that there will be an updated version of the Netflix streaming video app for Windows 7 Media Center as well as integration with the Zune video podcast library and content from MSN and MSNBC.

Meanwhile, Amazon is introducing a new Kindle application for Windows 7. It supports multi-touch gestures and allows you to read Kindle eBooks with color photos and supports pinching to zoom. So if you don't feel like dropping $260 on a physical Kindle, it looks like you can turn your Windows 7 notebook or tablet into an eBook reader capable of handling content from the Kindle store... albeit one with much shorter battery life than the Kindle eBook reader.

Today's announcement shows that Amazon is expanding its Kindle ecosystem well beyond dedicated devices. The company also offers an iPhone version of the Kindle reader. The Kindle for PC application will be available in November.

[via SlashGear]

Tags: amazon kindle, AmazonKindle, cbs, netflix, osupdates, windows 7, windows media center, windows7, WindowsMediaCenter