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Microsoft may dump proposed RSS name

RIP web feeds?

A well-known Microsoft blogger has downplayed the proposed use of a new name for RSS (Really Simple Syndication) in the next version of Internet Explorer, following several days of intense discussion.

In an interview yesterday, Robert Scoble, a Microsoft technical evangelist and writer of a popular blog about the software giant, said the company had not made a final decision on whether it would rename RSS ‘web feeds’ in the final version of IE 7.0, just as it has in the beta version that is currently available.

"We never said Microsoft has decided [to rebrand RSS]," Scoble said. "It's a year ahead of [Windows Vista] being released and we’re trying to work with the community to get some consensus."

In IE 7.0 Beta 1.0, RSS feeds are called web feeds, a fact first brought to light in an ‘IEBlog’ post by Jane Kim, a Microsoft program manager for RSS in IE.

The post sparked a flurry of controversy in the blogs of Microsoft watchers, some of whom prematurely viewed Microsoft's decision to rebrand RSS in the beta as an indication of the final name for RSS in the full version of the product. Some even worried that there might be a larger plan by Microsoft to recast RSS in its own image.

IE 7.0 will be included in the next version of the Windows operating system, Windows Vista, which is scheduled to ship toward the end of 2006. Microsoft has said it would offer broad support for RSS throughout Windows Vista, including an implementation in IE 7.0.


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