Home RSS and The Big 3

RSS and The Big 3

I’ve been following what the 3 big Internet companies have been doing with RSS and I
largely agree with Dave Winer’s recent assessment:

“Yahoo is dashing in front, with Microsoft close behind. Why isn’t Google in the

Yahoo has been by far the most proactive company of the 3 this year. Microsoft has
shown glimpses of what they’re plotting – my favourite so far was the start.com prototype RSS
integrated with MSN Search. 

But Google hasn’t done anything with their Blogger unit and they seem reluctant to add
RSS functionality to their product line – e.g. Google News and indeed the Google search
engine (‘subscribe to this search’, anyone?) OK, there’s a hint of an RSS
in a new feature being tested for Gmail – Web Clips, it’s called. Maybe
that’s a sign of things to come.

Microsoft’s RSS Plans

Today I found out a bit more about Microsoft and RSS. Evan Williams blogged a
he and 7 other bloggers had with Jim Allchin, a major
Microsoft honcho who is responsible for Windows, .NET and “new media technology”. Robert Scoble set up
the dinner. I found this bit from Evan to be especially interesting:

“One of Jim’s repeated statements was that he wanted to bring “this stuff” to the
masses. I asked for clarification because, in a lot of Microsoft’s talk, they speak of
RSS and blogging as the same thing. He agreed they weren’t the same thing, and it seemed
to be RSS he was talking about implementing in a variety of ways throughout Windows
(e.g., built-in readers, automatic feed generation from a variety of lists…).
Microsoft does have a blogging tool, that’s MSN—not Jim’s department.”

(emphasis mine)

This is another hint that Microsoft will build in RSS functionality as part of the
plumbing for their next OS (Longhorn). It was clear from the start.com prototypes too
that Microsoft’s strategy with RSS is to integrate integrate integrate. They want
RSS to be baked into their products and particularly their OS, so you don’t need to
download web apps or subscribe to web services like Bloglines.

Yahoo on the other hand is more about utilizing RSS as a media and content enabler –
giving My Yahoo users more content to choose from, letting Yahoo News users dive into
their niches, enabling mobile users to access content via RSS on their phone, etc.

Google’s RSS Plans: Show Me The Money?

So what’s Google up to with RSS? Or Atom, as the case may be. If I was to guess, I’d
say they want to harness RSS. Most of their huge take of advertising revenue comes
to them via webpages – their own pages, plus external webpages that use Google Adsense.
So Google wants to ensure that revenue doesn’t get siphoned off if they make content
available via RSS. 

It’s interesting that the Gmail ‘Web Clips’ feature mentioned above currently has
adverts alternating with the content (according to Ev). So
Google is actively experimenting with ways to monetize RSS. 

Once Google has gotten a handle on the revenue-generation options, then they’ll
commit to RSS and roll it out to the users.

About ReadWrite’s Editorial Process

The ReadWrite Editorial policy involves closely monitoring the tech industry for major developments, new product launches, AI breakthroughs, video game releases and other newsworthy events. Editors assign relevant stories to staff writers or freelance contributors with expertise in each particular topic area. Before publication, articles go through a rigorous round of editing for accuracy, clarity, and to ensure adherence to ReadWrite's style guidelines.

Get the biggest tech headlines of the day delivered to your inbox

    By signing up, you agree to our Terms and Privacy Policy. Unsubscribe anytime.

    Tech News

    Explore the latest in tech with our Tech News. We cut through the noise for concise, relevant updates, keeping you informed about the rapidly evolving tech landscape with curated content that separates signal from noise.

    In-Depth Tech Stories

    Explore tech impact in In-Depth Stories. Narrative data journalism offers comprehensive analyses, revealing stories behind data. Understand industry trends for a deeper perspective on tech's intricate relationships with society.

    Expert Reviews

    Empower decisions with Expert Reviews, merging industry expertise and insightful analysis. Delve into tech intricacies, get the best deals, and stay ahead with our trustworthy guide to navigating the ever-changing tech market.