Bloomberg said Wednesday that it is nearly halfway through the rollout of a new version of its Launchpad software that supplies advanced data sharing, personalized news and content suggestion features to users of its information services.

The 2010 version of Launchpad allows traders and investors to share complete screens of news, graphs, ticker data and statistics instantly with other users, said Eugene Sorenson, global business manager for the product at Bloomberg's headquarters in New York. In the past, the product, which is a partner application that adds graphical and communications features to the basic Bloomberg service, only allowed instant sharing of individual windows or panes of data on a user's screen.

Launchpad 2010 also keeps track of what each user reads and researches, in order to automatically provide customized news feeds, Sorenson said, in a demonstration.

Multipanel Bloomberg screen, using Launchpad 2010.
And, when users are trying to create new charts and background screens for analyzing market conditions and possible investments, its search line has been adapted to display a drop down menu of statistical or news sources that might be relevant to include in the analysis.

For instance, if a trading desk chief who had no prior knowledge of how to judge the economic condition of Greece, all the person would have to do was add "Greece" to the list of "currencies" to track and the first line on the dropdown, in the demonstration shown, would be Greek credit default swaps.

The cost of Greek credit default swaps could then be plotted against the performance of the Euro and, perhaps, the FTSE 100 Index of British stocks, in the hunt for buying opportunities. And these comparisons would be largely accomplished by pulling references to the instruments onto a graph that would depict them.

Trading in a particular stock is depicted in real-time, with each new tick graphically displayed. And price movements in lists of stocks are depicted with small, colored histograms, for at-a-glance discovery of the size of movement.

Heat maps, indicating movement in sectors and industries, can be resized instantly, as can any window, and drilled into to details on best and worst performing stocks. And any charts that a trader finds useful on an ongoing basis can be pulled together into rows of charts that can be used as an operating dashboard.

This version of the Launchpad provides a "tremendous ability to create your own environment," said Sorenson.

The business manager said that 70,000 Bloomberg subscribers have put the new application into use, out of 150,000 that used the previous version.

There are 287,500 total subscribers to the Bloomberg service. The remaining 137,500 do not use Launchpad, which is provided at no additional charge to subscribers.

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