Just when we thought Microsoft had finished making announcements in an already very busy week, the company then announced that Really Simple Syndication technology or RSS as we all know and love it, was going to be incorporated into next year's Longhorn operating system starting with Internet Explorer 7, along with an extra add-on for more flexible ordering of the lists for those willing to learn the added code.
Given that the technology was invented by Netscape, that's enough to signal alarm bells for anyone convinced that the Redmond giant will simply dilute the standard through the back door with its extensions. Dean Hachamovitch, Microsoft's manager in charge of RSS, is expected to announce adherence to the Creative Commons licence, which is almost open source but not quite totally free at the “go ahead and steal” level.
As well as being able to order the lists more easily, MS wants to give users the ability to set up picture and music collections and have those lists feeding as well as or instead of the current single-line links (like news stories) which is RSS' current speciality, in addition to having any enabled and compatible program in the OS able to access and update the feeds. It'll be in the beta from this summer and ship with the finished shrinkwrap next year.
With cautious acceptance from some high profile RSS devotees, maybe MS's intention to create a development platform out of RSS, on top of integration with its own browser, won't spell a backdoor takeover once Longhorn is established.