Here's an interesting tidbit from an impromptu interview with Steve Ballmer of Microsoft:
Q1. How important is RSS? A fad, important, huge or will replace the web/html dominance of the internet?
A. We believe RSS is important and will be around for a while but it is not going to change the world. It is a little too simple, that is also the reason everyone’s using it. We are working on more existing powerful stuff, around XML/web services [sic] that will address many issues beyond RSS. RSS will be around, but whatever we are working next will be cooler and more prevelant.
This touched off a mini-flurry of posting - Dave Winer assumes that it means MS is going to try to bury RSS. Scoble responded with a "look at all the cool RSS stuff we're doing!" post. Steve Rubel noticed the whole thing as well.
Here's the thing - all these guys assume way, way too much. You want to consider what kind of answer you would get had Ballmer been asked "Compare and contrast RSS and Web Services?" He's not a technical guy. He's a manager who was technical a long, long time ago, and I'd bet good money that his grasp of RSS and WS* stuff is limited at best. All this really demonstrates is that Ballmer should defer most of these sorts of questions down to knowedgeable staff instead of trying to answer them.