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Brier Dudley's blog

Brier Dudley offers a critical look at technology and business issues affecting the Northwest.

October 23, 2006 at 10:06 AM

Today’s column: Microsoft takes feeds mainstream

It may seem like old news to geeks, but average folks still don’t know much about RSS feeds. Today’s column talks about how that will change quickly now that Microsoft has added feed technology to Internet Explorer 7, the new browser it released last week.

Here are some links to sources I used in my column and to sites where you can download free software — including IE7 — to handle feeds:

Microsoft’s Internet Explorer page is here.

Feed-handling technology has long been part of the competing Firefox and Opera browsers.

You can read feeds in all the major browsers now, but heavy users of blogs and other feed sources may still prefer to use free reader software such Bloglines, Newsgator, Rojo or Google Reader.

An angle I considered exploring in the column is how the feed technology in IE7 is PC-based. That’s where the browser runs, of course, but it also downloads and stores feeds and summaries on the PC so they can be read offline.

Other feed platforms operate as Web services where you subscribe and read items online.

There’s also a new category of feed-handling sites emerging that I think of as personal Web portals. These are sites such as Netvibes, where you can assemble a collection of feeds and links, customize the appearance, read your e-mail inbox and use the site as your home page.

Microsoft also has a play in this space with a free, ad-supported Web service called Live.com. A tour of Microsoft’s Live offerings is available here, and the Live.com team Web log is here.

If you’re interested in the views of the people quoted in the column, Scott Hanselman has a great blog geared to software developers and Jakob Nielsen shares his views at this Web site, which also has information about his conference this week in Seattle.

Comments | Topics: Microsoft, Web

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