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Earlier today, I went to downtown Seattle to Gnomedex 5.0, and stood up in front of 300 tech influentials, enthusiasts and leaders to talk about some really exciting things that we’ve been working on for the past several months.
The main thing I talked about is the deep platform support for RSS that we’re building into the next version of Windows codenamed “Windows Longhorn.”
We think that the RSS functionality in Longhorn will make it easy for users to discover, view and subscribe to RSS feeds, as well as make it simple for developers to incorporate the rich capabilities of RSS into their applications.
We’re integrating RSS features throughout Longhorn to enable a broader group of users and developers to more easily take advantage of RSS. For instance, while browsing the web, you’ll be able to easily discover RSS feeds through an illuminated icon, as well as read the feed while still in IE. Once you find a feed you’re interested in, you’ll be able to subscribe to an RSS feed as easily as adding a favorite.
The RSS features in the Windows Longhorn platform will also enable application developers to easily build RSS support into their applications.
For example, a business user about to attend a conference could subscribe to the conference’s event calendar. He can then use a Longhorn RSS-enabled calendar application to view the events in the RSS feed from within his calendar app. Or an IT worker can subscribe to sales data that notifies them via a line-of-business application when new deals have been closed.
Amar Gandhi (Group Program Manager for the Longhorn RSS platform) and I showed a few great demos of how application developers can integrate with the platform. We did the same demos for a Channel 9 video which you can see at http://channel9.msdn.com/ShowPost.aspx?PostID=80533.
But that’s not all. :)
I also announced some enhancements to RSS, which we call the Simple List Extensions. The Simple List Extensions can be used to enable websites to publish lists such as photo albums, music playlists and Top 10 lists as RSS feeds. RSS can be used to publish lists like these today, but our extensions really enhance the experience that users can have when subscribing to these kinds of lists. We’re very excited about the great scenarios that these extensions can enable.
One scenario I’m particularly excited about is the idea of being able to subscribe to my wife’s Amazon.com wish-list – we’ve been talking to the great folks at Amazon.com about using these extensions, and, at Gnomedex, Amar and I showed a prototype application working live against Amazon.com wish lists built using Amazon Web Services (built with the invaluable help of the Amazon.com Web Services team). You can see that on the Channel 9 video as well – it’s the best way to understand why this is so useful and interesting.
The best part is that we’re showing a deep commitment to the RSS community by making the specification for these extensions available under the Creative Commons license, the same license under which the RSS 2.0 specification was released. You can read the Simple List Extension specification on the MSDN site linked below. In layman’s terms, we’re saying that anyone can implement these extensions on their site or in their application. Lawrence Lessig, founder of Creative Commons had some nice things to say about this announcement http://www.lessig.org/blog/archives/002978.shtml.
This is has been a great day, and we’re going to have lots more to say about RSS support in Longhorn at PDC ’05 in September http://www.developerpowered.com. Stay tuned. :)
You can read all about what we said today in detail from the MSDN Longhorn RSS page: http://msdn.microsoft.com/longhorn/understanding/rss/default.aspx