Tuesday, June 28, 2005

RSS Going Mainstream?

Microsoft is on the verge of unleashing its new version of Internet Explorer 7; the beta version is due out early this summer. A new twist for this segment of IE is the integration of RSS on its toolbar. Since RSS seems to be the new way for people to receive publications of interest, Microsoft has made it a point to concentrate on this option and integrate it into the heart of their browser. The fact that Microsoft has taken such interest to simplify this venue for those who are out of the tech loop, leads us to believe that this will bring RSS news feeds mainstream. Currently RSS feeds are seen as a preferred method of publication for news publishers and bloggers to get their articles out to the public, as well as podcasters. RSS is utilized to notify subscribers when their publication or source of news has been updated with new postings/articles; podcasters alert their audience when new audio is available. So how involved will RSS be in their new browser? Well all the hype is circling around the belief that Microsoft has developed this at the "heart" of IE 7.

Microsoft's improvements & options:

  • Extensions to RSS, for better order to lists of information
  • Orange button on toolbar, that will light up when an RSS feed is detected on a site
  • Plus sign button, one click on this will subscribe the user to the sites feeds, blogs, news and content-feeds
  • Enabling new ways to utilize lists i.e. to-do lists, shopping lists, top 10 restaurants and retailers wish lists (extensions would enable changes in the lists, such as items moved or deleted to better fit the clients needs)
  • Time sorted feeds, such as calendar feeds or photo blogs

So with the simplification of RSS in the browser experience, Terms & Phrases such as: "RSS", "feeds", "subscribe", "RSS reader" and the need to understand phrases as "RSS is a substandard of XML, allowing for syndication of online content" should no longer steer "would be users" away from this medium.

Currently the RSS format that this will support are the "common" ones, such as RSS 1.0, 2.0 and Atom 0.3 and upon release its scheduled to also support Atom 1.0.

Although RSS has been slow to catch on this could be the turning point that the media has been waiting for.