Nothing and a whole lot!
That’s if Microsoft gets it right. First impressions appear to
be very promising and all indications show a much more powerful
RSS system, neatly integrated into the next version of Windows.
Could this finally mean the ‘coming of age’ for RSS?
But what does RSS mean to the average computer user at
this moment in time? Will people get RSS? Does Microsoft
have an education project on their hands with RSS?
Does DOS mean anything to you? If you’re like 95% of
computer users — probably not much. But that doesn’t
stop us from enjoying our computers and fully benefiting
from DOS. Sometimes complete ignorance is bless.
Unless you’re a techie and such technical stuff makes
your heart skip a beat, knowledge of such material is not
really required by the end-user. Fortunately, people don’t
have to understand ‘HTML’ to enjoy the Internet.
Likewise, knowledge of RSS is not important to the
ordinary computer or Internet user. Microsoft’s
RSS Longhorn puts RSS where it rightfully belongs,
in the background, invisible…seamlessly integrated
into your computing and web browsing experience.
It will make RSS an integral element of its new operating
system which has the code-name Longhorn. It will firmly
place RSS into the heart of your computing experience,
enriching and enhancing it in more ways than even Microsoft
is probably aware of yet!
RSS stands for ‘Really Simple Syndication’ and it has
long been associated with blogs and blogging because
they are written in RSS or XML format — code like HTML.
DOS stands for ‘Disk Operating System’ by the way
and it’s the platform for operating systems on your
computer. MS-DOS is the most widely used system.
Ignorance can sometimes be overrated.
Microsoft’s announcement of its plans to place RSS features
into its next Windows version, due out in 2006 and in servers
by 2007, is truly groundbreaking . You can read more about
Microsoft’s RSS plans here: Understanding RSS In The Next Windows.
This takes RSS out of just browsers and RSS readers (called
aggregators); and giving it much more powerful applications.
Most interesting is a new set of applications — Simple List
Extensions — allowing web sites to publish feeds containing
lists such as a wish list or top 10 list. Should make David
All kidding aside, for you, these RSS applications will
be very beneficial and rewarding. These applications will
make browsing, searching and subscribing to your favorite
information or sites a lot more easier. You can now take control
of your Internet, viewing and accessing the information you
want to digest.
It has many personal and business applications that will
take ‘keeping in touch’ to a new level. Calendars, events,
updates, personal photo albums…can all now be syndicated
with the new RSS platform.
What’s really important about Microsoft’s plans (I believe)
is the fact that this now makes RSS legit. Lets face it,
outside of blogging and a few alert online marketers, RSS is
still not understood by most people.
But as stated before, people don’t have to understand ‘HTML’
to enjoy the Internet. They don’t really have to know about
servers, DOS, or even ISPs to get full benefit from the web.
Likewise, RSS doesn’t have to be known or even understood
by the majority of the people who will be using it.
But it’s helpful that you do understand for you the
future of RSS holds many treats and the full impact won’t
really be known for years. Under the Creative Commons license,
RSS applications could have a far reaching impact on your
computing world of the future.
The potential of RSS is enormous. It may even pave the way
for a ‘Billion Channel Internet’ — where each web site is
its own little broadcasting system. An interactive channel
that broadcasts audio and video to all interested subscribers.
Microsoft’s announcement may just be the nucleus of such
a system. Many components are already in place like podcasting,
broadcatching, data feeds, etc. and its not that great a leap
or too fantastical to imagine such a system will exist in
the very near future.
For RSS changes HOW information is transmitted on the
web…from a passive role to a more pro-active one.
Don’t come to us — we will deliver.
RSS is also one of the more democratic elements of the
web where the little guy has a say. It was more than
fitting that Microsoft’s RSS team met with Dave Winer
(Mr. RSS to those who keep a close watch on all things RSS)
and asked his opinions on these recent developments.
Ordinary Bloggers have preached the benefits of RSS syndication for so
long; the mantra was becoming a tiresome echo across the
web. No one seemed to be taking RSS seriously.
In that light, it can’t be understated that Microsoft’s
incorporation of RSS into Windows is one of those true
‘turning points’ that has to be acknowledged. It does
change how computers and the Internet will work.