In an otherwise interesting article about Sun's plans for RSS use, Jonathan Schwartz apparently felt compelled - as usual - to take a swipe at Microsoft
Gillmor: You mentioned earlier that Microsoft is holding RSS back for some reason. What is that reason?
Schwartz: It's a couple of things. One, the RSS market is relatively nascent. And there are some technology leaders who are going to go deliver their RSS feeds more proactively than others. Is Microsoft missing a huge market right now? Probably not. But it just goes to the prior point that he who controls distribution controls the definition of the standard.
On one hand, I think they're uncomfortable with how much of the RSS standards have been done in the open source community that they can't therefore lock away. And if they take a path, they have to take one that breaks that alliance, and in breaking that alliance - as they've tried to do with HTTP, Java, and every technology they couldn't control - lies some risk for Microsoft. I'm not sure right now they're all that interested or focused on it. I think Steve Ballmer is probably more focused on his pricing in Malaysia than he is on the infrastructure for RSS
Gillmor: Given that, when will we see some code coming from you that essentially makes it more difficult for Microsoft to ignore RSS?
Schwartz: We have to have that strategy ironed out by the time we announce the developer desktop, which I'm hoping will be within the next few months, certainly not the next few years; this is a this-year activity. And there is already so much innovation occurring in the RSS community 14the number of articles written on RSS today is staggering. Everybody's talking about it. There's Java readers, Mozilla add-ons, Ampheta 26 The issue of when we will make a decision about what we will include in the desktop will be in the same time frame as when we announce our developer desktop.
Somehow, I rather doubt that MS is ignoring RSS and Atom. It wouldn't surprise me a bit to wake up one day and find out that one of the readers that integrates with Outlook (like, say, Newsgator) has been purchased by Microsoft. On the other hand, it wouldn't surprise me if they just let the field develop the way it's been developing. MS is doing the right thing as a content producer with RSS; heck, for that matter, Sun seems to be as well. All I know is, when I hunt around the blogosphere I hear a lot more out of bloggers on the MS side of the aisle than I do from Sun/Java guys. Maybe Schwartz should spend more time trying to get his people blogging, and less time tilting at windmills.
Update: Scoble makes the same points, but with a little more edge.