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June 26, 2005


Hi Rick

Great post.

MS is in a tough position these days.
OpenOffice is a strong competitor for
most uses of Word and Excel. Longhorn
offers nothing that's going to cause
a massive wave of upgrades. More importantly,
there are lots of MS employees feeling frustrated.

The RSS move makes sense. Good for MS, good
for the 'net. Good on the meta level of
a new set of pathways for the company.

-- stan

I care. Microsoft has embraced RSS. Microsoft is attempting to extend RSS (let's wait and see if this is an enhancement). Microsoft *will* try to control RSS. They are a business. They have stock holders. It is in their interest to do so. Will they succeed? I wouldn't have thought so but with Dave Winer sucking up to MS and MS sucking up to Dave, I have a feeling that this love fest might provide MS with the opening that they need. Eventually both MS and Dave will stop using each other, but that might be too late in the game. Dave is already telling people that the common feed stuff is suspect and he says the the list extensions are too complicated. However, this was after he called Microsoft's embrace of RSS a "home run" and before he even looked at the specification. If Microsoft does what it usually does (I see no incentive for it to change its stripes for this occasion) and ends up wrecking RSS then Dave should definitely get the credit he so deserves.

Hi, Rick!
Starting from the bottom. Yes the roof is done although there were a few tense moments

I am way beyond that now however.

Moving on to the 'Microsoft Situation'(will we need to call in Mr. Wolf?), your commentary is pretty good in terms of trying to make a case for Microsoft and RSS.

[Disclaimer: 99% of my business activity and profit comes from babysitting Microsoft products. It is not good or evil]

In your analysis which is much less vitipurative than mine, you make a number of points

''Who Cares #3. The whole point of business is to make stuff or offer services people will like, buy and recommend to others.''
BZZT!! The whole point of business is folks striking out on their own , either because they think they can do it better, faster or cheaper.
That they grow big is confirmation that their thoughts were correct.

No, I don't see, Bill, Dave and Richard line dancing anytime soon either.

If you do make money because your companies make money using microsoft technologies, great. I will want to talk to you about diversifying your portfolio and moving into light manufacturing, specifically laundry baskets with handles.
There is money here.
Wow! A blog Pitch!

Who cares #2.

Agreed. Big Business is Big Business, and Bill and Melinda's Foundation gives astounding sums of money to good causes.

Dead people don't buy software.

Who cares #1.

I do. Like you said, It is harder to enhance/extend/or corrupt what is working in order to support business goals. But my whole point is that they are still late to the party, and despite playing nice, there is no company on the planet, who can leverage their power and resources, to get their way.

An excellent example of this behaviour is the IE Browser itself. It took years for someone to figure out a way to run two versions on the same machine. IE upgrades by replacing the new files with the same filenames making rollback almost impossible. Although, they did make it possible to rollback from 6 to 5.

According to everything I have read, IE7 will only run on XP. What sort of community empowerment is that?

The automatic or manual update feature, and I really like the idea, does the same thing. Win2000 takes about an hour to install on a 80gb harddrive formatting NTFS. It takes 5 hours to download and update the OS with service packs, which end up being larger than the original Install.
Yes I have a high speed pipe.

This 'support' feature alone gives me a feeling of great trepidation over any thing Microsoft says, let alone what their future behaviour may be, and neither you nor I can predict that.

But again, I am still betting that Microsoft will 'enhance' RSS.

Remember Smart Tags?

Even as a member of the "Microsoft is evil and the world would be a better place without them" brigade, I find a great deal of difficulty in viewing this with panic.

As much as Firefox and Opera users might wish otherwise, IE is still the web's dominant browser. And yet...there are very very few sites out there that don't work adequately with at least one alternative, and most still work with anything that speaks HTML. The market-share war is lost (and probably forever), but they've been remarkably unsuccessful in killing off open standards.

To the extent that they try to subvert RSS the way they tried to subvert HTML, I suspect they will fail at least as badly. And to the extent that they're merely adding a useful feature to a product whose most recent upgrades have been decidedly behind-the-curve, feature-wise, I call it a good thing...even if they are Microsoft.

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