Microsoft’s next generation operating system, Longhorn will have features to help PC users subscribe to sites that use the Really Simple Syndication protocol. Microsoft will be announcing this at the Gnomedex conference in Seattle this morning.
Commenting on this move, Windows Group product manager Megan Kidd said, “We believe RSS is the key to how people will use the Internet moving forward. We made a commitment to it, delivering support for RSS in Longhorn that’s integrated throughout the operating system.” Microsoft also said that the RSS capability would be integrated into the OS making it easier for software developers to work on their applications.
Microsoft has also announced the IE 7 will have features that will enable users to be aware of website updates. The IE 7 will display an orange button on the toolbar, which will light up whenever a RSS feed is posted on the site.
Disclosing this Dean Hachomovitch, general manager of Microsoft’s Internet Explorer team, said, “We are making sure that throughout Windows the experiences for users are easy. We want RSS everywhere. I want it in more than just the browser and aggregators. We want to help RSS get even bigger and better than today.”
Microsoft also said that it was working on an extension of the RSS feeds called the Simple List Extensions. These would be made available through the Creative Commons license, thereby allowing other developers to incorporate them into their services and software products.
Mr. Hachamovitch said that Microsoft was really excited about the potential of RSS feeds, “Feeds are everywhere. We are not done with search. There are still a lot of people doing great innovative stuff with search. But there is this other thing called ‘subscribe’. It is not just a feature, it is a new approach. When I subscribe I can say what is interesting to me, the machine can do the work, and I can enjoy the fruits of its labour. It affects your web consumption habits. We believe in ‘subscribe’ very deeply. There is a lot of power and richness there,” he commented.
Longhorn is expected to debut only in December 2006, but Microsoft plans to release a beta at its Professional Developers Conference in September. Gary Schare, Windows product-management director, emphasized that Microsoft would incorporate the RSS features into the beta as well, “We’re making a really big RSS investment in Longhorn. We think RSS will work better than past push technology,” he commented.