The new Microsoft Windows Vista will include integrated support for RSS. Microsoft says Vista will support RSS 1.0, RSS 2.0, Atom 0.3, and Atom 1.0 (when released). Vista’s integrated RSS support is designed to make subscribing to and managing feeds easier. This feature is likely to provide some interesting applications that may help increase productivity.

Today RSS is primarily used for news sites, blogs, and increasingly for audio-based serialized content. But RSS has the potential for broader reach and to more deeply integrate the information it delivers across applications of various kinds.

Integrating RSS support into the operating system will make it easier for application developers to develop programs that use feed subscriptions. Vista will make the user’s feed subscription information available to applications system-wide.

Obvious benefits include:

  • You only need to save a feed once and the information is permanently recorded.
  • Converting from one locally installed feed reader to another feed reader would be painless as all subscriptions would automatically transfer.
  • This would allow you to use several different installed readers without needing to manually synchronize the subscriptions.

There may be several potential problems with the RSS integration, however:

  • How long will it take the spam/malware/adware distributors to exploit the feature?
  • Your subscription information is stored on your PC not a remote server. Allowing remote access to the information may involve another security risk.

Microsoft’s RSS integration in Vista clearly signals that RSS is here to stay. It will be interesting to watch what type of productivity applications are developed around this feature. Has anyone heard of any planned productivity applications designed to take advantage of the integrated support?

RSS In Windows Vista – [Microsoft]

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