Microsoft Blogging Moves, RSS Dust-up

Bringing a couple of threads together here…

We all know about Microsoft’s mainstream blogging effort, MSN Spaces.

Late last night, The Blog Herald pointed to a piece by Netcraft about a new server-side blogging solution that Microsoft is distributing:

Microsoft has released an updated suite of tools for hosting providers, which will make it easier for Windows hosting customers to create blogs and online forums.

The Web Site Starters included in the suite (Microsoft Solutions for Windows-Based Hosting Version 3.5) are designed to help hosting partners improve their efficiency and lower the costs of Windows hosting. The new release integrates Telligent’s Community Server blogging system and DotNetNuke, an open source content management system designed for Microsoft’s ASP.NET platform.”

This morning, Dave Winer linked to a bit from the rssweblog around a quick interview that Amit Malhotra got with Steve Ballmer. Malhotra paraphrases Ballmer as having said:

“Besides the next release of MS Office will have the tools to publish blogs as part of its collaborative tools, watch for them .”

The next version of Office (likely 18 months out) is likely to see heavy RSS integration, both on the publishing and ‘consumption’ sides. We should expect that the next versions of Outlook and IE (IE 8 here, not the pending ‘minor’ 7.0) will be RSS clients (though to the best of my knowledge, MSFT hasn’t said so), and that the functionality will see its way to the Mac and Mobile versions of those apps. And of course, there’s the “Start” web client as well.

Which makes Ballmer’s other comment in Malhotra’s interview very interesting (again, a paraphrase):

“We believe RSS is important and will be around for a while but it is not going to change the world. It is a little too simple, that is also the reason everyone’s using it. We are working on more existing powerful stuff, around XML/web services [sic] that will address many issues beyond RSS. RSS will be around, but whatever we are working next will be cooler and more prevelant.”

Obviously, Winer called MSFT on this. Scoble’s doing a little soft shoe.

The implications are all already understood… In the words of Yoda, “flexible they need be, start-up CEOs”.

Posted in Uncategorized