A New Outlook on RSS

RSS feeds are all the rage, which is why I am embarrassed to admit that I don’t subscribe to any (what are your favorite feeds? E-mail me at dbarney@redmondmag.com). Microsoft either wants to control RSS or make is easier for us by adding RSS aggregation to Outlook 12 late next year.

The Future According to Ozzie
When Microsoft bought Groove Networks, there were two prevailing theories about Ray Ozzie. Many saw Ozzie as the next Bill Gates, while others felt Ray would bail after the minimum term of his contract expired and start another company. It seems like the first theory is making more sense as the 50-year-old Ozzie continues to increase his influence, in a very positive way, on Microsoft.

One of the more positive aspects is that Ozzie is pretty open about his work. In his newly revived blog, he talks about the role of his brother Jack in developing skunk works kinds of projects, some of which may be free on the Web, and seems to emphasize “services-enhanced software” rather than software as a pure service. He also has some tantalizing hints about the role of Groove in boosting Office 12. My guess is that Microsoft bought Groove almost purely to improve Office and keep the competition from devouring its desktop productivity monopoly.

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The part that killed me is his mention of an idea I used to bore people with 15 years ago. At that time the Amiga was a pretty sweet video computer. Beyond being able to do what today’s Tivos can do, like digitizing everything on your TV, computers like the Amiga made it feasible to have real-time hookups between homes. This way you can drink with your friends and not get arrested driving home.

Ozzie was talking about what he calls “tele-presence” so he can be with his wife in Boston when he’s in Redmond. I don’t mind a bit if it’s Microsoft that makes this dream come true.

Google Buys Market Share
Critics like to point to the ways that Microsoft buys its way into market, but guess who just spent a billion dollars for the privilege of being the No. 1 search engine for millions of AOL customers? If you read the headline, you already know the answer -- it’s Google. Of course, Google may be the No. 1 search engine for AOL users, but what browser are most of them using?

About the Author

Doug Barney is editor in chief of Redmond magazine and the VP, editorial director of Redmond Media Group.

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