Scoble: MS Has No Plans to Rename RSS

In an interview with IDG, Microsoft technical evangelist Robert Scoble said that Microsoft has never had plans to rebrand RSS, and was trying to work with the community to build some consensus on how RSS should be referred to within Windows Vista and Internet Explorer 7.

The spat over RSS began following the release of IE7 Beta 1, in which Microsoft dubbed the technology: “Web feeds.” The move sparked an outcry from a number of technology enthusiasts, including RSS co-creator Dave Winer.

But is the fight over the naming of RSS within Windows Vista much ado about nothing? RSS is referred to as “live bookmarks” in Mozilla’s Firefox browser, Bloglines and Newsgator call them “feeds,” and most blogging software refer to the technology as “syndication,” Mike Torres, Lead Program Manager for MSN Space, noted in his Web log.

However, what could be a contributing factor in the criticism of Microsoft over its proposed name change are its past actions. Some critics of the company have a deep distrust over its tendency to take standards and make them Redmond’s own.

One of those attempts cost Microsoft $1.9 billion; Sun successfully sued the company last year for co-opting its popular Java technology.

Scoble acknowledged the company’s past, and said it was all the more reason to “do the right thing” with RSS.

Joe Wilcox, senior analyst with Jupiter Research, seems to agree with Scoble and says the controversy over renaming RSS is way overblown. “Maybe the discussion should be more about what the best name should be rather than why not to change it. I think it’s inevitable that Microsoft will use something other than RSS.”

Dave Winer has offered a contrarian opinion, and said the battle to rename RSS was a “dumb one.”

“If you’re serious about working with a community of independent developers you need to build trust,” Winer wrote in his Web log. “Throwing your weight around stupidly is a good way to destroy trust and to keep developers far far away from you.”

News source: betanews

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