Tribune Co. launching a tablet app for Windows 7

Chicago Breaking Business
The Tribune Co. will launch a new app, aimed at Windows 7 tablets, featuring news and entertainment content from across its media outlets, as well as user-selected sources.

The app, called Mosaic, will be free and will carry “high-resolution” advertising, according to reporting by David Sarno and Alex Pham.

The project’s website reveals the app’s front page is designed as a grid of photos, similar to Flipboard or CNN’s recent offering. Touching a photo reveals a headline, leading to an article page.

A press release from the Tribune Co. indicates the app will initially be supported by content from the organization’s newspapers, including the Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, Baltimore Sun, Orlando Sentinel, and Hartford Courant. Integration of the company’s broadcast outlets will soon follow.

Mosaic will also allow users to customize the app by adding feeds from the Web, including blogs, Twitter and other sources.

The concept of the app — traditional news content supplemented with personalized news aggregation — may be a first for a major media company. If the app is well-designed and easy to use, the strategy may be a worthy response to the rise of pure aggregators such as Flipboard and the Pulse News Reader, both of which run on the iPad.

The fact that Mosaic is not premiering on the iPad is a surprise. Microsoft’s Steve Ballmer announced the release of the first Windows 7 tablets on Wednesday at the Consumer Electronic Show. So, it will be some time before the platform gains a significant audience base.

But, Mosaic will now benefit from the publicity associated with a series of Windows 7 tablet launches, and from being among the first media apps available on the devices. If that is the strategy, we might expect to see Mosaic for the iPad and Android tablets arriving later this year.

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