RSS to the masses

May 19, 2006

RSS Feeds @ MicrosoftSo this image appeared on Microsoft's home page today. I don't usually frequent the Microsoft site so I am not sure how long it has been there but I found this interesting. I have been talking about the launch of RSS as a great technology and as a technology that has not been delivered to the masses. I am convinced that Microsoft will be the company (unfortunately) that will deliver RSS to the masses. Especially with their latest browser. So I clicked the link and I was brought to a page that lists out some of the popular RSS feeds. Feeds that would probably make sense for someone that runs windows exclusively at home and at work (nothing against the Mac).

Technet Security Updates

RSS Feed for Most Recent KBs for Office XP

RSS Feed for MSDN: Windows Media Center (I have recently bought this OS for home)

Anyways there was also a (prominent) link on this page which discussed what a feed was and how to use it. This is the kind of information that I think the masses needs. Education is the key to any new technology. I am glad to see this type of information posted. Even if it is by Microsoft.

Using Feeds (Microsoft style)

True to form they have this excerpt at the bottom:

Reading and subscribing to feeds using Internet Explorer 7

The newest version of Internet Explorer (version 7 due for release in 2006) will support feeds, including automatic discovery of feeds on Web pages, basic feed reading capabilities, and basic support for saving feeds.

Should be a fun ride when IE 7 is released.


10 Responses to “RSS to the masses”

  1. Greg Says:

    Thanks for the info. I don’t go to microsoft’s page either. However, I did just get the Media Edition, at home (But I don’t really use it…. yet), so I will add the Media Center rss link to my bloglines page and give it a chance..

  2. petelozzi Says:

    Macs can view RSS feeds from within the default browser (Safari.) We’ve had this capability since April of ’05, and have the ability to bookmark and track any RSS feed. It’s nice to see Microsoft following the footsteps of the company that truly caters to their customer. After all, with the incredible success and influence Apple has with their own customer base (regardless of how its size compares to Microsofts) why wouldn’t the Seattle juggernaut do whatever Apple does? Some loyalty among the MS masses is much needed in a sea of people disgusted with their product.

    So, while I see you have nothing against the Mac, I would also remind you that Apple has already brought RSS to its customers, thus proving once again that there’s nothing a Windows machine can do that a Mac can’t do better, besides shopping for games.

  3. mikull Says:

    mac mac mac. /yawn… pete, you are aware that intelligent people not only pity your brain’s consumer branding, but also find great humor in it? who takes sides these days? only those who lack insight. i have been using both platforms to varied degrees for over 10 years now- and i must tell you, there were times i cursed and cheered both. they serve different people for different purposes- for better or worse- at different times. right now, macs are very nice- but tomorrow is always another day.

    i remember back in 1997 when mac was falling apart, and on the verge of losing their grip as a major player in the personal computing market; however, microsoft actually lended a financial hand in matters, and saved mac so you could have your boner today! don’t take my word for it:

    but to bring this back on topic. in 1997 Microsoft also created Channel Definition Format for the Active Channel feature of Internet Explorer 4.0, which became mildly popular… a pre-cursor to RSS- and rumored the blueprints for the first version of RSS, created by Dan Libby of Netscape in March 1999 for use on the My Netscape portal. you don’t have to take my word on this one either… …Mac was celebrated for releasing Safari in 2005 with RSS built in, but it was hardly an orginal idea. Fair is fair I suppose, considering Windows wasn’t exactly an original idea either.

  4. notronwest Says:


    I just added the feed myself. I will be posting about my experiences with Media Center shortly. I will be interested on your take after you have used it for a while.

  5. notronwest Says:


    You know it is amazing how things may appear on a post or in email (vs. an actual conversation). I can see now how this post seems very pro Microsoft. Yuck! That is the farthest from my intentions.

    I have been using Firefox since 0.9 days so I can understand your point about other browsers having this capability way before IE. If you click on my Category listings on the right for “RSS” you will see that I have been a true believer in RSS for a lot longer than the IE 7 Beta and in fact mention Firefox’s capabilities out of the box (I have since turned to Sage Extension in Firefox).

    Let me also state that I learned Moziac on the Mac and my first job at my local ISP (which pretty much got me to this place) was soley because I knew how to use a Mac. I learned HTML using Simple Text and spent many hours of my late college years in 1995 on a Power Mac. In fact, when I first got my job (which at the time I worked for free) I did not know how to format a floppy on an PC.

    So in short, thanks a lot for sticking up for the Mac but please don’t put me in the IE boat and send me down the river. I am just recognizing their market share and saying that they have a great opportunity to sell RSS to my mother.

  6. notronwest Says:

    Seriously though Mike you have a point. Those who talk about differences in platforms are completely ignorant of what I believe to be the bigger goal.

    Lets just get it out in the open

    1.) You are not going to tell my mother (who is an avid user of that her IE browser is crap and that Windows is a dying platform. Ain't gonna happen 'cause she don't understand and never will.
    2.) You are not going to tell the ultra hip Mac people that Windows is in the majority and since they are in the minority they should just give up.
    3.) For all of those other people out there who feel that Star Office and Open Office are the only way to go (a.k.a. Linux and Solaris users), they are never going to install MS Office. Ok maybe if you put a gun to there head.

    If there is one thing that I have learned in my short time here (and I hope Mike that you agree) is that we is all individuals! We has all gots to get together. What I think is cool about some of these new technologies (RSS) is that they represent a way for all of us to communicate on the same level.

    So picture you mister Pete on your Mac speaking all Mac stuff, and then Mike speaking all universal and me speaking Windows (for arguments sake of course because I do a mean Linux). And we need to share some info. If we are English, Spanish and French that is not going to happen. Since we can all speak RSS we can talk. Right?

  7. mikull Says:

    you said it better (and more friendly) than i could ron- different strokes for different folks, in a world where established technology sticks. i thinks its great that mac is so very strong now, and we have choice. i also love the idea of boot camp on a mac. one machine to rule them all? well, no- but it’s a step in the right direction- cross platform, universal technology, while still allowing choice for all consumers..

    it all ties together nicely here, thanks to your replies ron- consider this: for the web developer of course, RSS is a fun thing to work with, but overall the best part of it is the power of sharing information. never before has it been so easy to cater to a varied audience by offering multiple feeds that are cross platform compatible. personalized technology, where it be some xml or an operating system is truly a wave of the future.

  8. notronwest Says:

    Word! There is definately a balance between Standards based development and Competitive advantage. I have been meaning to blog about this and will soon. But in short, I can understand why we have not “Standardized” everything. Having a difference of opinion about the implementation of something allows different companies to produce a product they feel is “best of breed”. If everything was “Standardized” then what would be the use.

    With RSS, you can see that all three major browsers (Firefox, IE and Safari) will handle this differently. The cool part is that they are learning how to create a competive advantage with standards on the backend. The more we can see this the better it will be for both developers and end users!

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