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Sunday, December 25, 2005

RSS Reader Becoming Integral Part of Outlook

Bill Burnham once wrote that in the contest between E-mail & RSS,the former easily wins. Addressing the blogger’s constituency, he added that given the almost ubiquitous reach of e-mail and its "push" nature, for reaching users, one should probably make e-mail the preferred means of subscribing to any blog. Sometime back Microsoft announced that it is baking RSS into Vista – at the platform level itself. Microsoft’s belief is that RSS is so powerful that it needs to be in places other than RSS readers and browsers. Microsoft is focusing on three things in Vista around RSS :
- First, making it easy for users to find, view and subscribe to RSS feeds;
- Second, making it easy for developers to put RSS in their applications and enable new classes of RSS applications;
- Third, creating a set of extensions for RSS, known as the Simple List Extensions, that can be used to enable Web sites to publish feeds that represent ordered lists of items, such as a wish list or top 10 lists.
Michael Affronti, program manager, Microsoft Outlook writes, RSS Aggregation in Outlook is aimed at providing the user with a consistent look, feel, and experience while interacting with RSS feeds and related information. While RSS can be a complex technology to interact with, Outlook will merge the complexities and cover it with our friendly user interface. From the beginning of interacting with a feed using the subscription process through managing your feeds, their associated folder hierarchies, and potentially sharing feeds with others, Outlook will cover RSS in those situations from end-to-end. Interacting with RSS feeds will be extremely similar to managing the mail items now. Since RSS live shall be within the mail module the standard look and feel of folders, hierarchies, and the drag-and-drop shall be maintained the same. support RSS items will be a derivation of the IPM.post message class, so compliance with ZOOM and related core technologies will be easy to implement/strong>. Roaming support will enable Exchange users to have their feed items follow them from machine to machine, keeping their RSS items with them at all times. Another reason to firmly beleive that the blog ecosystem is becoming an integral part of the mainstream applications. Do note that Outlook is baking RSS much ahead of other web based email players providing such neat faciltiies - what currently exists is more of a limited RSS reader facility made available ( say inside yahoo mail or gmail).Any guess about the future of standalone RSS readers?

(Image courtesy : Michael Affronti)

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