Microsoft Embraces RSS in Longhorn

    June 24, 2005

Microsoft’s Dean Hachamovitz right now is on stage at Gnomedex. He basically announced widespread support for RSS in Longhorn and Internet Explorer 7.0. T

This includes: 1) improving basic RSS experiences for users, 2) RSS tools that empower developers to RSS-enable applications, and 3) adding new extensions to RSS that broaden it (all available via Creative Commons). I was pre-briefed earlier this week, however, Scoble just told me there’s a full video demo posted on Channel9.

My initial take is that by embracing RSS in Longhorn and supporting “developers, developers, developers,” (as it usually does) Microsoft will evangelize the platform in a way that no one else can. No one else is in the same position to bring RSS to the mases the way Microsoft is – and they will!

However, Microsoft needs to be very careful not to push the technology too far so that it only benefits them. It will be interesting to see if the extensions they are planning to add to RSS are truly open to everyone on all platforms (e.g. Linux and Mac) – not just Windows. Otherwise, it could be a repeat of embrace and extend – which got Microsoft into a bit of trouble back in the heyday of the browser wars.

My optimistic view here though is that they will get it right and keep it open for everyone and that today we witnessed a milestone day in the history of the Internet.

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Steve Rubel is a PR strategist with nearly 16 years of public relations, marketing, journalism and communications experience. He currently serves as a Senior Vice President with Edelman, the largest independent global PR firm.

He authors the Micro Persuasion weblog, which tracks how blogs and participatory journalism are changing the public relations practice.