Product & Startup Builder

RSS has the 'good enough' quality that made mp3 so popular

Added on by Chris Saad.
Content has become detached from it's container. That's the subject of a post by Richard McManus on Read/Write Web.

It's an interesting look on a trend that we are all tracking now with the advent of RSS and Feed Readers as the new way to consume large amounts of content and syndicate information across 'applications'.

He also delves into Microformats and Tivo as clear examples of the trend.

But this post also reminded me of something I have had at the back of my mind for a while.

People say that Microsoft does not innovate. They say the most recent example is that they almost missed the boat on RSS and Ajax and are only now playing catch up.

I think those people are wrong. In this case they forget that Outlook Web Access pioneered many AJAX techniques and that Microsoft lead charge for XML Web Services.

At the end of the day, RSS (and REST) are rudimentary implementations of an approach Microsoft has been pushing for many, many years.

This article also shows a quote from Microsoft that has helped crystallize what I respect about them as a company. They may not always be first or best... but they are always the ones to take what is 'good enough' and make it so simple that anyone can use it. That has value that us geeks may not appreciate - but that the general community will always need.

The quote was in reference to choosing RSS over Atom - "RSS has the good enough quality that made mp3 so popular"... I think that is a perfectly reasonable conclusion.

Microsoft already has a complex solution for stitching applications together - it's called XML web services based on .NET. With RSS their just trying to support the simple/remixable web. Clear and simple.

Update: I just watched the Mix06 Bill Gates keynote - and they raised the observations I msde in this post. So I guess I am not very clever after all :)