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Longhorn RSS roundup

Discussion in 'General Discussions and Lounge' started by ovi, Jun 27, 2005.

  1. ovi

    ovi Guest

    There has been a wide range of reaction to Microsoft's plan to incorporate RSS functions into Internet Explorer and other elements of Longhorn, the next version of Windows. In Monday morning's Insider column and Saturday's story on the subject, my colleague John Cook described the mixed reaction at the Gnomedex conference, where Microsoft announded the news last week. Pictured at right is IE General Manager Dean Hachamovitch's shoe during the event. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

    The online reaction has also been interesting. One question is how the integration of RSS capabilities into Windows will affect smaller software developers who make RSS aggregators. Other questions revolve around the company's plan to offer extensions for managing and sorting lists delivered in RSS streams. Excerpts from coverage and commentary on various news sites and weblogs:

    * eWeek: "The idea of extending RSS to other applications may be attractive to some, but Microsoft's approach drew criticism from Bob Wyman, co-founder and chief technology officer of PubSub Concepts Inc., a startup service that aggregates RSS feeds. He criticized Microsoft for focusing on a specific format, RSS 2.0, and for not bringing the extension before an open standards body such as the Internet Engineering Task Force."

    * Lawrence Lessig comments on the company's decision to offer the RSS list extensions under a Creative Commons license: "These steps signal important flexibility and sophistication within Microsoft. For anyone who knows people at that place, this is old news. But even if old news, very very good news."

    * Joe Wilcox, Jupiter Research: "Microsoft contends that its approach will greatly extend RSS capabilities, usefulness and adoption, which certainly might be the case. I'll put the contention in this context: If you believe that Microsoft's turning Web browsing into a development platform and integrating the technology into Windows benefitted software development and Internet adoption, then Microsoft's position is sound. If you don't agree that the integration brought these benefits or that it hampered development of innovative, competing products, then Microsoft's reasoning is flawed."

    * Jay Greene, BusinessWeek: The fact that Microsoft is putting so much effort behind RSS suggests that the technology's time has come. Michael Gartenberg, vice-president and research director at Jupiter Research, estimates that about 10% of U.S. Web surfers use RSS readers, software designed to view feeds from Web sites. "This is the type of thing that will bring it into the mainstream," Gartenberg says. "It's going to change behavior, and it's going to do it very quickly."

    * On his weblog, Gartenberg addresses some of the initial criticism of Microsoft's planned RSS list extension: "There is no fork in the spec here. What worked before will still continue to work. This is a way to extend RSS so people can do more with it. It was inevitable that it was going to happen by one of the big players and likely by Microsoft. What's cool here is that they are doing this in a way that really show's they are adding to the community, not co-opting. This is a win for MSFT, Longhorn, developers and customers. It's also the first interesting thing I've heard about Longhorn in a long time."

    * Charlene Li, Forrester Research: "[T]aken in whole, the Microsoft announcement is fairly sweeping -- it will do the basic block and tackle work of working with feeds, allowing developers to build neat little applications ... "

    * Microsoft's MSDN site describes how Longhorn will work with RSS: "While browsing the web, users will be able to easily discover RSS feeds through an illuminated icon, as well as read the feed while still in the web browser. Additionally, users will be able to subscribe to an RSS feed as easily as adding a web page as a favorite. Once a user chooses to subscribe to a feed, the fact that the user has subscribed is available to any interested application."

    * Microsoft Watch's Mary Jo Foley points to a variety of related links, including this video, with demonstrations, on Microsoft's Channel 9 site.

    * Hachamovitch's post on the IEBlog drew a range of comments, including this one, implicitly pointing out that Longhorn is still more than a year away: "[W]on't integration into Longhorn push widespread availability of this functionality too far into the future? In other words, by the time Longhorn is released, wouldn't it be the case that these problems have already been solved in other ways, and that generally, the usage [scenarios] would have changed by then? It just seems like there is a strong need for this now, but putting it into Longhorn doesn't really seem to meet the desired time-to-market."

    * Steve Rubel explores the question of which RSS feeds should be included as defaults: "What I would like to see in IE 7 are some basic Microsoft.com feeds (e.g. support/security alerts) to prove the concept to the everyday user and then a Favorite that points to an open directory of feeds. This could be either a new directory that Microsoft creates or one or more established indexes, such as Nooked. Either way, the directory needs to be open so that anyone can submit their feed and categorize it."

    * Nathan Weinberg, of the Inside Microsoft blog, tells the story of a blogger's feedback changing one aspect of Microsoft's RSS plans. He comments: "When was the last time a blogger’s good idea changed the way something worked at Microsoft, let alone this quickly?"

    Source: blog.seattlepi.nwsource.com/microsoft/archives/005109.html

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