Looks like Microsoft is pulling the good old “Embrace and Extend” trick on RSS – the core technology behind blog aggregators. The difference this time is that they have the endorsement of the Godfather of RSS, Dave Winer.
Winer hints at a big IE7/RSS announcement at Gnomedex:
On Friday you’ll see how deeply integrated RSS is in the architecture of the browser. But that’s just the tip of what may turn out to be a very big iceberg. The people at Microsoft noticed something that I had seen, only peripherally — that there were applications of RSS that aren’t about news. Like Audible’s NY Times Best Seller list, or an iTunes music playlist, or lists of Sharepoint documents, or browser bookmarks. Lists are all over the place, and people are starting to move them around via RSS, and they are not the usual kind of data that has been carried by RSS in the past.
The crux of the post is that Microsoft wants to use RSS for ‘lists’. Whether this is just an IE7 thing or the start of something bigger; and why they couldn’t just use OPML or plain vanilla XML is anyone’s guess.