Interesting stuff. Wow. RSS is now a weapon in operating system feature lists. Is this vision, or just taking advantage of the blogging conversational networks?
After all, how do you get bloggers to talk about you? Heck, add RSS support to your product. It sure does work. Here's a Microsoft blogger talking about Sun Microsystems. Heh!
So, score one for Sun.
Of course, Microsoft shot the first "RSS-is-an-operating-system-feature" cannon. At our Professional Developer Conference back last October we showed off a component on Longhorn that was using RSS. Which gets me to this part of the QA that Steve Gillmor and Jonathan Schwartz held:
Gillmor: You mentioned earlier that Microsoft is holding RSS back for some reason. What is that reason?
Schwartz: It's a couple of things. One, the RSS market is relatively nascent. And there are some technology leaders who are going to go deliver their RSS feeds more proactively than others. Is Microsoft missing a huge market right now? Probably not. But it just goes to the prior point that he who controls distribution controls the definition of the standard."
"On one hand, I think they're uncomfortable with how much of the RSS standards have been done in the open source community that they can't therefore lock away. And if they take a path, they have to take one that breaks that alliance, and in breaking that alliance –as they've tried to do with HTTP, Java, and every technology they couldn't control– lies some risk for Microsoft. I'm not sure right now they're all that interested or focused on it. I think Steve Ballmer is probably more focused on his pricing in Malaysia than he is on the infrastructure for RSS.
My reply? RSS wasn't done in the "open source community." It was done by Dave Winer. At least the RSS I use and like best (RSS 2.0). Also, MSDN had RSS Feeds almost a year ago. Welcome to the RSS party. I agree, it is a fun one!
Schwartz: "Those communities early on in the company's existence were probably nowhere near as well connected as they are today, certainly in nowhere near the same real-time mechanism as they are today. And RSS is increasingly becoming the principal means of real-time communication."
Translation: "Will someone please offer Scobleizer a ton of money to leave Microsoft? He's killing us." ;-)
Schwartz: "It may be that RSS is sufficiently standardized (apropos of the prior conversation) that we can have a diversity of clients available to read it, including RSS clients on my handset, on my set top box, and in my hotel room."
Translation: "Damn .NET guys, they already have RSS news aggregators running on PocketPCs (two separate ones, in fact), SmartPhones, Windows XP, Tablet PCs, Longhorn, and other places." I've seen third-party versions of .NET apps running on Media Center as well. OK, the SPOT watch I have doesn't have an RSS News Aggregator. Maybe Sun can help us innovate there. :-)
Schwartz: "It's a couple of things. One, the RSS market is relatively nascent. And there are some technology leaders who are going to go deliver their RSS feeds more proactively than others. Is Microsoft missing a huge market right now? Probably not. But it just goes to the prior point that he who controls distribution controls the definition of the standard."
Hmm, I didn't know Dave Winer or Harvard University controls distribution of much of anything except a few hundred words a day over on scripting.com.
Schwartz: "The next wave of innovations –in media playing and three-dimensional desktops and RSS readers– hasn't ranked up there, but that's in part been because we've been speaking almost exclusively to an enterprise audience. As soon as you start talking to developers, as we start building our developer desktop out this fiscal year, we're going to end up with a different set of what we call CTQs —issues that are critical to quality for our customers."
Translation: those Microsoft bloggers are killing us and we need some of our own!
Schwartz: Step One for us is making sure that an Outlook user is comfortable. Step Two is then introducing innovations that they can't get in Outlook.
Translation: Sun's should buy Greg Reinacker's NewsGator NOW before Bill Gates opens his wallet! Oh, wait, Greg wrote all his code in .NET? Grrr. (Not to mention that most of the popular RSS News Aggregators are done in .NET).
I notice he didn't admit that most news aggregators are built either in .NET or Borland's Delphi. By the way, is there a client-side RSS News Aggregator that was built in Java? (Like RSS Bandit (.NET) or NewsGator (.NET) or Sharp Reader (.NET) or FeedDemon (Delphi)). [Scobleizer: Microsoft Geek Blogger]