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The Internet Internet Explorer Microsoft

Microsoft To Extend RSS 375

Joshua53077 writes "Microsoft announced today a plan to 'extend the RSS standard to better support the publishing of ordered lists of information...' This feature will be included in Longhorn. It appears as though they will be including RSS support in Internet Explorer, which will come over a year and a half after the same technology was introduced in Apple's Safari RSS." From the article: "Gary Schare, director of strategic product management in the Windows division of Microsoft, says that while RSS is a reliable standard for updating information in message form, it currently has no logical way to organize that information in a way that could help subscribers keep track of what is being fed to them."
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Microsoft To Extend RSS

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  • Bye, bye RSS .... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Luscious868 ( 679143 ) on Friday June 24, 2005 @02:45PM (#12903253)
    Repeat after me "embrace and extend" ....
    • Yeah, really. My first thought when I read this headline was their treatment of the Kerberos produce.

      Microsoft, give it up. You can compete, but you can't dominate.
    • by corsec67 ( 627446 )
      Heh, that was my first though when I read the brief.

      The problem is, Microsoft's business plan is:
      1. Steal/Copy Idea
      2. Sell
      3. Profit
      • And that's better than the Open Source business plan, how?

        1. Steal/Copy Idea
        2. ???
        3. Profit
        • And that's better than the Open Source business plan, how?

          1. Steal/Copy Idea
          2. ???
          3. Profit

          Dude, wtf are you talking about? Open Source is not about profit... sure, you can make one if you replace ??? with services/etc. but profit is not strived for or even wanted in some OS products.

          Yeah, I know, YHBT and all.

    • Re:Bye, bye RSS .... (Score:5, Informative)

      by wilsone8 ( 471353 ) on Friday June 24, 2005 @05:09PM (#12904669)
      It's not embrace and extend when the guy that created the RSS standard (Dave Winer), has a post up today about how Microsoft specifically asked him if it would be ok to extend the spec before going down this path and how he thought this would be a good addition to the RSS spec.

      http://www.reallysimplesyndication.com/2005/06/22# a634 [reallysimp...cation.com]

      From the article: "The story begins in March of this year. I got a call from Robert Scoble saying there was a group on the MSIE team that wants to extend RSS to handle lists. I was immediately supportive of this, I told Scoble that some people think I'm conservative about extending RSS, but I'm actually liberal. The only thing I don't like is when people invent new ways of expressing data that RSS already defines. He assured me this isn't what was going on."
      • by jpickett ( 877858 ) on Friday June 24, 2005 @06:03PM (#12905106)

        And if you read [microsoft.com] how Microsoft is handling their extentions, frankly I don't see what the issue is. So someone thought of a way to make RSS potentially better, and they're sharing it with other people.

        As I see it MS had two options:

        1) Create their own proprietary standard and have everyone bitch at them or;
        2) Use an existing standard, try and OPENLY build on it to do what they want, and only have retards like Slashdot minions bitch about it.

        Sure it's flamebait but I'm sick of this crap. Also wilsone8, I'm not directing this to you, just all the others that don't care to educate themselves first.

        • Re:Bye, bye RSS .... (Score:3, Interesting)

          by Alsee ( 515537 )
          I'll tell you what, how about we come back to this issue in about 9 to 18 months and we can discuss whether or not Microsoft PATENTED this extention to RSS?

          And yes, I know the bottom of their page promises to "offer a royalty-free patent license on reasonable and non-discriminatory terms and conditions to any such patent". Care to wager whether it would be essentially the same DELIBERATLY SABOTAGED license that Microsoft slapped on their SenderID system? You know, the royalty-free patent license on reasona
  • How? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Conspiracy_Of_Doves ( 236787 ) on Friday June 24, 2005 @02:45PM (#12903254)
    So how exactly will they be changing the standard to make it incompatable with non-Microsoft readers?
  • by CausticPuppy ( 82139 ) on Friday June 24, 2005 @02:45PM (#12903261) Homepage
    This feature will be included in Longhorn.

    Don't panic. This gives the OSS community a couple of years to respond. Besides, this feature probably won't make it into the final release of Longhorn anyway.
  • by sdriver ( 126467 ) on Friday June 24, 2005 @02:46PM (#12903264) Homepage
    I'm sure they will add stuff that makes sense as well!

  • As it should be. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by TheBrownShow ( 454945 ) on Friday June 24, 2005 @02:46PM (#12903268)
    ...while RSS is a reliable standard for updating information in message form, it currently has no logical way to organize that information in a way that could help subscribers keep track of what is being fed to them.

    Which is exactly the way it SHOULD be done. Keep the management of the data seperate from the transmission of the data. Leave content management up to the APPLICATION.
    • They are. They're just also integrating it so that content management is handled by the application, the operating system, and the 14 year old hax0rs who are rejoicing at Microsoft opening up yet another way to rapidly disseminate nastiness to large groups of people.
    • Re:As it should be. (Score:3, Interesting)

      by DaHat ( 247651 )
      To quote one member of the team: "RSS is too good to just be in browsers and news aggregators" and he is exactly right. Why have multiple applications reinventing the wheel to do the same thing when different applications can do their own thing with the data, but leave many aspects of it up to the main system.
  • by nizcolas ( 597301 ) on Friday June 24, 2005 @02:46PM (#12903270) Homepage Journal
    From the article, The people at Microsoft noticed something that I had seen, only peripherally--that there were applications of RSS that aren't about news. Like podcasting? Also, who thinks Microsoft's extension of RSS may be the attempted return of push technology?
  • by kwilliamyoungatl ( 835177 ) on Friday June 24, 2005 @02:46PM (#12903278)
    You can add DRM and other "features". Uggh.
  • by ravenspear ( 756059 ) on Friday June 24, 2005 @02:46PM (#12903279)
    I hope by "extend the standard" they don't mean "basterdize it and then break compatibility with all non-M$ versions" because we've all seen that before.
    • Their extensions will be released under the Creative Commons License, how about you get some facts before you gripe.
    • Embrace and Extinguish (TM)
    • Why is this relevant? You think Microsoft would change the standard so that no existing RSS reader on any platform could handle it? That's bullshit. Since RSS is based on XML it's easy to extend and add features to it that will simply be ignored by existing readers.

      Microsoft are big on XML. Their new office format will be completely open and XML compliant. I see no reason to believe that Microsoft will "basterdize" the RSS format, a format that has to be compatible with existing readers for its uptake to
      • Microsoft are big on XML. Their new office format will be completely open and XML compliant. Do you call releasing a file format in a GPL-incompatible way [eweek.com] "completely open"?? (Notice I didn't refer to GPL-incompatible code. There's a lot of GPL-incompatible free software out there, and they are still free software. File formats, however, are a different story. To be open, they need to be implementation-independent. Not only in their specification but also on their licensing.)
  • Which of these 2 enormous &#@$^#@$% will win?
  • by gbulmash ( 688770 ) * <semi_famousNO@SPAMyahoo.com> on Friday June 24, 2005 @02:48PM (#12903295) Homepage Journal
    Whenever Microsoft "extends" a standard, they always seem to extend it in ways so use of their extensions makes your page/script/applet inoperable with competing products that support the internationally approved standard. So should the title of this article actually be "Microsoft Breaks RSS"?

    - Greg

    • by Utopia ( 149375 ) on Friday June 24, 2005 @02:53PM (#12903368)
      The RSS standard itself allows for extensions.
      The extensions themselves can be standardized.

      Microsoft is not breaking the standard.




      • My aren't we naive! I got a $50 that says if they touch RSS they WILL fsck it up. A tiger can't change his stripes and M$ doesn't seem to even want too. Anytime someone takes off, they seem to take the attitude that "If we could introduce some extension in there that only our software could correctly interpret, then the market for other applications will be hindered. Print it!" I think I'm up to exhibit S that M$ is inherently evil.
      • Let's say "may not break the standard". There are approved, compatible ways to extend it, but it's really hard to design extensibility into a standard. Often extensions are unforseen and won't fit into the way you expected to extend it.

        Not to mention Microsoft's history (with Java and HTML) of making extensions designed to lock you in. They succeeded with HTML; they failed with Java (though perhaps that's more Sun's fault than Microsoft's).

        Of course, if they have good ideas (and they have an awful lot of
      • Just like Krb5 (Score:4, Insightful)

        by jlrobins_uncc ( 136569 ) on Friday June 24, 2005 @03:56PM (#12904041)
        Which they released a 'legal', but value-added-only-for-microsoft extension, whose documentation was explicitly licensed as to prevent you from making an open-source interoperable equivalent.

        AFAIR, anyway. Does SambaNG or whatever truly smell like an AD with the MS-KRB5 authorization field properly filled-in?
    • Whenever Microsoft "extends" a standard, they always seem to extend it in ways so use of their extensions makes your page/script/applet inoperable with competing products that support the internationally approved standard.

      You mean like how they extended JavaScript to include XMLHttpRequest? Yeah, that whole emergence of Ajax has been a disaster.
  • Innovation (Score:5, Funny)

    by repetty ( 260322 ) on Friday June 24, 2005 @02:49PM (#12903316) Homepage
    It's only reasonable to expect innovation like this from the company that invented the Internet.

    Microsoft kicks ass!
  • Is there really a concern that they'll embrace and extend when they take so long to embrace? Apple on Intel will likely be out before Microsoft releases the successor to XP, which was released in 2001.
  • In Longhorn huh? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by tktk ( 540564 )
    Hopefully by the time Longhorn comes out, we'll have moved onto something better.

    So MSFT has basically taken the better, cooler features out of Longhorn and replaced it with an RSS reader? I haven't been paying too much attention to Longhorn but really, what new things are going to be in there?

  • No need to worry then, chances are it gets stripped from longhorn before release and it's another 10 years before this sees the light.
  • by m50d ( 797211 ) on Friday June 24, 2005 @02:52PM (#12903354) Homepage Journal
    After the enormous improvements that were the MS extensions to Java, I'm sure this will be a great extension that will benefit everyone involved, and act to reduce lock-in. What wonderful people MS are, improving things for everyone.
  • Seen this before (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Bronz ( 429622 ) on Friday June 24, 2005 @02:53PM (#12903362)
    1. Pick an up and coming technology that _you_ didn't see coming (and that your products don't support at all).

    2. Point out a fault in it. Promise to *fix* it by changing the standard so the improved version is only compatible with your software.

    3. Get people to believe the technology isn't ready until you have a chance to support it.

    4. Sell it as a new idea and profit.

    Look, I made an ordered list without extending /.
    • Look, I made an ordered list without extending /.

      No you didn't; you made a bunch of paragraphs. This is an ordered list:

      1. Pick an up and coming technology that _you_ didn't see coming (and that your products don't support at all).
      2. Point out a fault in it. Promise to *fix* it by changing the standard so the improved version is only compatible with your software.
      3. Get people to believe the technology isn't ready until you have a chance to support it.
      4. Sell it as a new idea and profit.

      Hopefully this Microso

      • "changing a <ul> tag to a <ol> tag rather than some complicated hack that might be patentable"

        Unfortunatly I wouldn't be surprised changing that
        that was patentable.
  • Sorting the data? (Score:3, Informative)

    by taskforce ( 866056 ) on Friday June 24, 2005 @02:57PM (#12903412) Homepage
    "Gary Schare, director of strategic product management in the Windows division of Microsoft, says that while RSS is a reliable standard for updating information in message form, it currently has no logical way to organize that information in a way that could help subscribers keep track of what is being fed to them."

    Surely sorting the data is the job of the client program, RSS is just a way of delivering the information. I'd assume the Participatory Culture Foundation [participatoryculture.org] is going to have some way of sorting through the shows you subscribe to. Ways which currently exist include indexing the RSS message "Spotlight" or Longhorn search style or just using the existing HTML Meta Tag systems. (The former being IMO much more flexible and informative than anything Microsoft could come up with in code.)

  • It appears as though they will be including RSS support in Internet Explorer, which will come over a year and a half after the same technology was introduced in Apple's Safari RSS.
    Safari had RSS in the release which came with Tiger (released 2005-04-29). Firefox had LiveBookmarks since release 0.10 (released 2004-09-13), and of course had it in extensions before then.
  • by w98 ( 831730 )
    no logical way to organize that information in a way [to] keep track of what is being fed to them

    Funny, every RSS feed *I* have ever subscribed to has always been returned in timestamp order, newest article first.

    How *else* would you organize it? I watch my feeds based on timestamp - if something new shows up, it shows up at the top of the list.

    It ain't rocket science ...

    • I think the point MS is trying to make is this: I subscribe to the slashdot RSS feed. However, I may only want to read the YRO and AskSlashdot stories. That I know of, there is no way to selectively download stories from a feed. If there was some sort of header of section info, I could pick and choose which stories to view and wich to discard before it reaches the viewer. The closest thing to this is what Reuters and Yahoo do: have seperate feeds for each topic: Science, Technology, Top News, Politics
  • The real danger is that this very plausibly is just an excuse for them to make it "different" enough to patent the crap out of it. The patent office doesnt seem to be against letting people tweak good ideas and calling them their own.
  • First of all, there are several incompatible versions of RSS already, so one more won't hurt.

    Secondly, what is the point of the Safari comment? Safari has a tiny market share and it wasn't the first browser with RSS features either. Is there some kind of competition going on between Microsoft and Apple who can copy other people's features faster? Why not limit mentions of Apple to those areas where they actually came up with something for themselves?
  • Strangely, this doesn't comfort me.
  • by Albanach ( 527650 ) on Friday June 24, 2005 @03:07PM (#12903529) Homepage
    Is't microsoft as usual...
    1. Embrace
    2. Extend
    3. Patent
    4. Profit

    Their Office 2k3 XML format's 'may' have patents [microsoft.com] prohibiting their use in open source applications. Who's to bet the new RSS 'standard' will similarly be patented.

  • The headline should actually read:
    Microsoft to embrace and extinguish RSS.
  • by Deagol ( 323173 ) on Friday June 24, 2005 @03:19PM (#12903643) Homepage
    they'd get the damned thing released.

    How many features were promised then dropped in Win2003 and Longhorn to get them released? Why the hell do they keep adding features?

    At this rate we'll get Longhorn Lite in 2006, Longhorn Complete in 2007, and Longhorn As It Was Really Promised Ten Years Ago in 2012.

    MS just needs to get over themselves and get a product out the door with the *current* set of features they promised.

    • by hacker ( 14635 ) <hacker@gnu-designs.com> on Friday June 24, 2005 @04:45PM (#12904454)
      "At this rate we'll get Longhorn Lite in 2006, Longhorn Complete in 2007, and Longhorn As It Was Really Promised Ten Years Ago in 2012.

      MS just needs to get over themselves and get a product out the door with the *current* set of features they promised."

      Have you ever considered that this might just be a marketing ruse by Microsoft to get their competitors (Apple, the OSS community, etc.) to slow down on focusing their efforts, because "..well, we have a couple of years before Longhorn is released, whats the rush?"

      Seriously, what if they released Longhorn in December of this year, with all of the features they've previously claimed were pulled from it? (WinFS, podcasting, IE7, etc.)

      This is a very VERY common marketing move, and I'm surprised nobody has seen through it yet. You publically announce that your product is being delayed, so your competitors relax a bit, then you announce some key feature of your product was dropped, etc. and your competition smirks and goes out and celebrates... and then you release the full product, WITH the "dropped" features on Monday.

      Your competition crumbles and cries in the corner.

      • Parent is overrated.

        This is not a "common" marketing move because it makes no sense. You cannot "lull" your competitors into slowing down -- your competitors do not react to your announcements, they react to what they perceive the market wants and what they think you are doing, not what you say you are doing. Neither does it help to suddenly pop something onto the market when you have been telling IT managers for months to prepare for a release in 2006/2007. MS makes its living by allowing IT shops to

  • If you want an excellent RSS +more sidebar (That LongHorn is actually based on) check out http://desktopsidebar.com/ [desktopsidebar.com] ... I have used it for a very long time now and find it to be very actively developed.

    Here is my screenshot: http://www.mnsi.net/~n0spam/I_broke_Google.PNG [mnsi.net]
  • Microsoft's Strategic Plan for RSS

    1) Accept RSS and patent "Edison Extreme+"

    2) Add enhancements to RSS

    3) Add enhancements to the enhanced version of RSS and rename "Rapid System Service".

    3.1) Rename Rapid System Service" to "RSS Edison Extreme"

    4) Bundle RSS Edison Extreme with Longhorn beta v11

    5) Release Edison Extreme+ (Edison Extreme Plus) [this is a completely new product from Microsoft (not to be confused with RSS Edison Extreme or RSS).

    6) Profit.
  • Good News! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by bheerssen ( 534014 ) <bheerssen@gmail.com> on Friday June 24, 2005 @03:28PM (#12903753)
    Now, I'm no MS apologist (look back at my comments) but this is actually good news because Microsoft has decided to release the specs under a Creative Commons "Attribution, Share-Alike [creativecommons.org]" liscense: one of the more generous liscensing plans released by the Creative Commons.

    Larry Lesig has more [lessig.org] at his blog [lessig.org].

    I can't vouch for Microsoft's reasons for doing this, other than speculate that they are trying to respond to the old criticism that "embrace and extend" really means "steal and lock away". If Microsoft really is trying to be more open in it's communiction protocols, I can't help but see that as a good thing. They are free to extend all they want as long as they do not use their dominant market position to force those extensions on their customers to unfairly place burdens on their competitors.

  • Goodbye RSS (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Szaman2 ( 716894 )

    First they will extend it, patent it then they will make sure that IE and Office throw security warning when viewing non extended RSS. Since they have the market share they can pull it off and make it seem that standard RSS is somehow broken.

    Then, you can either roll a feed that will apear to be broken in IE, Outlook et all or you will have to pay Microsoft a licensing fee / sign your soul away into shared code slavery...

    That is of course if we let them... There is a small chance that RSS is already to

  • They're extending RSS, they're extending SMTP with their patented "SenderID", and leveraging it all with their monopoly powers. Next: MMS will replace HTTP for streaming. Microsoft has distracted everyone enough with their vague talk of "open formats" for Office documents that they expect to blow through with proprietary protocols that interoperate advantageously with closed-source Microsoft apps.
  • Too Late? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by razmaspaz ( 568034 ) on Friday June 24, 2005 @04:51PM (#12904507)
    Is this too late? I mean blogger is already the place to do blogging for 90% of all blogs out there. RSS is already very well defined and there are literally hundreds of apps that spit out RSS. Will microsoft's enhancements be doomed to second place? I would think even the most agressive "embrace and extend" campaign would fail here. Of course you can't fault them for trying!
  • by ArmpitMan ( 741950 ) on Friday June 24, 2005 @04:52PM (#12904517) Homepage
    Group 1: MORE LIKE EMBRACE AND BSOD AM I RITE?
    Group 2: RSS is XML and therefore works using magic! It's not like there were eight thousand different conflicting RSS standards before!
    A Vanishingly Small Number Of Voices Of Fucking Reason: You know, they released the spec for extensions under a ShareAlike Creative Commons license [lessig.org]. They might as well have done it under the god-damned GPL. This is PROGRESS, you imbeciles.
    • I don't believe it is. Their disclaimer is that if they find any patents infringed, "Microsoft also agrees to offer a royalty-free patent license on reasonable and non-discriminatory terms and conditions to any such patent claims for the purpose of publishing and consuming the extensions set out in the specification."

      Every instance of "reasonable and non-discriminatory terms", such as those of the Office XML formats, has made it impossible to use in GPL software in the past.

      Now, if their patent license f

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