Steve Rider is one of the developers of Microsoft's Start.com and he gives us an insight to the development plans for Microsoft's nascent Web-based RSS Aggregator / portal homepage. I think it's fantastic btw that Steve is willing to share his thoughts - and more importantly, that Microsoft lets him. Google could learn a thing or two from this open attitude. Anyway, here's what Steve says is coming up in Start.com:
We've got a lot of features lined up, but here is a short list, so let's go:
* OPML import/export
* Roaming the page
* Drag/drop management of the sidebar and folder creation
* Cool search results experience
* Better default experience for getting modules onto the page
* Roaming bookmarks
* Color schemes
* More custom modules
We also haven't forgotten about Firefox users (we use Firefox too) and we know there are a few glitches left to fix like drag/drop modules. Please bear with us, we're working on it as fast as we can."
A few comments on this from moi:
1) It confirms that Microsoft definitely wants Start.com to be an aggregator - and not just of RSS feeds.
2) I like the sound of this "write your own modules" idea, although I'm not exactly sure what it means. Anything that lets the users create new things has got to be good.
3) What does "Roaming the page" mean?
4) It's great that they'll add OPML import/export. As to my previous question of how the information management aspects of having a large set of RSS feeds will be handled, I noticed that Steve mentioned "folder creation" as one of the new features coming up. Perhaps Start.com will be competition for Bloglines and Rojo et al after all?
5) Finally, good to hear that Firefox bugs will be addressed. Steve also pointed out that "we use Firefox too" - cool, they must be real geeks then! ;-)