Microsoft to own RSS?

Some have predicted 2007 will be the “year of RSS“. I view it as the “lubrication” for internet delivered content and it clearly is what enabled the podcasting phenomena to happen, was key to the rise of blogging and memetracking, and is vital for all of us to collect and aggregate the exponentially rising amount of information coming at us from every corner of the ‘net.

So what if Microsoft owned RSS and made everybody pay for the privilege to use it?

Reading Dave Winer’s blog just now I came across this post with some intrigue over questions of his involvement in RSS (which I won’t comment on since I don’t have any facts) but included a *very* disturbing link to a patent filed by Microsoft on RSS! So much for them hiring Ray Ozzie and ostensibly embracing the Web-centric ecosystem.

I just skimmed the patent and will read it in full tonight. At first glance it simply appears that they’re positioning it as a platform and all processes central to that RSS platform are within the patent itself. I expect that much smarter and more experienced corners of the internet are going to shout this one down. If not, 2007 will be the year RSS was co-opted and became yet another choke point for innovation owned by our pals in Redmond.

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About Steve Borsch

Strategist. Learner. Idea Guy. Salesman. Connector of Dots. Friend. Husband & Dad. CEO. Janitor. More here.

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Podcasting hit the mainstream in July of 2005 when Apple added podcast show support within iTunes. I'd seen this coming so started podcasting in May of 2005 and kept going until August of 2007. Unfortunately was never 'discovered' by national broadcasters, but made a delightfully large number of connections with people all over the world because of these shows. Click here to view the archive of my podcast posts.