Fergus Burns noted these 4 key platforms, which are all set to ramp up over the next 6-12 months (my notes added):With Microsoft's IE7 just around the corner and the other big Internet companies upgrading key information management products, 2007 is going to be the 'make it or break it' year for RSS.
from Microsoft + RSS integrated into Outlook 2007.
2. MySpace Widget Platform - potentially a new generation of "RSS Consumers".
3. Yahoo Mail - RSS integrated in 'Beta' version.
4. Google Reader release - RSS reading functionality will probably be integrated into Gmail.
What these 4 things have in common is that all will reach a mass audience in 2007.
Microsoft and RSS
RSS implementation in IE7 which Marshall Kirkpatrick rightly pointed out - and Dave Winer agreed with - IE7 still represents a major milestone for RSS. It will almost certainly be the most used browser in the world within 12 months (unless Firefox pulls something out of the hat with v 2.0 - and early reports are that it won't). RSS is a new and highlighted feature of IE7, so it will give a major push to mainstream RSS adoption. Will it merely be seen as "a minor improvement over bookmarks" by IE7 users, as Dave Winer suggests? Perhaps, but even so there is more to come from Microsoft in regards to RSS.Despite the issues with
Perhaps the real tipping point for RSS in Microsoft products will be when it is integrated with Outlook, which is slated to happen in Office 2007. As it states on the official Outlook 2007 Overview page:
"Work with RSS Subscriptions from within Office Outlook 2007. You can now fully subscribe to and interact with Really Simple Syndication (RSS) feeds right from Office Outlook 2007, the most natural place to manage this kind of information. It’s easy to get started adding RSS feeds using the RSS Subscriptions home page within Office Outlook 2007."
Either way, you can't argue that Microsoft isn't doing its bit to push RSS into the mass market.
RSS integrated into Email
RSS Reader integrated with email
In other email platforms, as I've mentioned before I think once Yahoo Mail Beta goes live (probably sometime in 2007) then RSS will reach another huge user base. Yahoo Mail has 250M + users and RSS is integrated within the mail inbox in Yahoo Mail Beta, enabling you to check your favorite RSS feeds at the same time as checking your email. It's no accident Yahoo chose to implement RSS in the inbox - everybody uses email, so by adding RSS into the mix Yahoo is making it easy for mainstream people to adopt RSS reading as a daily habit.
The same I think will apply to Google, once (if?) they implement RSS reading into Gmail. They've already started down that path by re-designing Google Reader to mimic the Gmail interface.
As a sidenote, I'll also be following closely what Google does with GData and Google Base, which both use RSS and its variant Atom.
The Widget Factor
Finally, MySpace really does hold most of the cards in the developing widget war - because it is the biggest platform by far for widgets, not counting the mass populace of independent blogs (which only compares to MySpace numbers in aggregate). A lot of widgets are powered by RSS, or a variant of it. So MySpace is going to be one of the key RSS platforms in 2007 - and how they manage this platform will be keenly watched.
Any way you look at it, 2007 is shaping up to be a BIG year for RSS!
RSS shoes photo by esdaniel