Our motto here in Outlook land is "Sharing Means Caring".  Okay, not really, but it's still a good virtue, and one we've grasped in several locations in Outlook 12.  :)

What do I mean?  Let's say you're subscribed to a really interesting RSS feed, like Gizmodo, or even some obscure feed that no one has ever heard of.  You think the feed is great, and decide that you'd love to tell a friend about it.

How would you tell them about it using Outlook 12 Beta 1?  You would have to...

  1. Go to Tools: Accounts: RSS
  2. Open 'Subscription Options" for the individual feed
  3. Copy the URL for the feed's XML file
  4. Close all those windows.
  5. Open a new mail message
  6. Paste in the URL.
  7. Type in your message and address it.
  8. Send the mail.

Then, when you're recipient gets the mail, they would have to copy the URL and manually paste it into their Account Manager to subscribe to the feed.

Well, doesn't this sound better:

  1. Right-click on any RSS item.
  2. Choose "Share this subscription" to create a new Sharing Message.
  3. Enter the recipient's email address and type a message into the body.
  4. Click Send.

You're done!  The Sharing Message is a new message type in Outlook 12 that lets you easily "Tell a Friend" about any RSS feed, SharePoint list, or subscribed Internet Calendar.  The message is a new type in Outlook 12 with its own custom UI:

It packages up all the information about the RSS, Internet Calendar, or SharePoint subscription and puts it right into the message.  It eliminates all of the hassle of manually copying the URL, plus when the user receives the message they get a special "Add this subscription to Outlook" button that allows them to instantly subscribe to the resource.  Sweet!

You can also think about this from a corporate scenario, and how content managers can easily blast out a Sharing Message to many users that would allow them to easily subscribe to a new internal SharePoint site or link it into Outlook, add a new RSS feed that is a company newsletter, or even sign-up for an external calendar that tracks a conference or release schedule.

Get ready to share!