Some Office 12 screen shots displaying RSS were posted recently (and have been before) and it has brought to the surface the usual inquiries about the impact on our business and our plans here at Attensa. We have known this was coming for some time. In fact, it’s kind of obvious, and would no doubt be seen as a lazy omission if Microsoft did not include the feature in some capacity in this new release. We are often asked at Attensa how we feel about this inevitable reality….well; we are stoked that Microsoft/Windows/Office embraces RSS going forward.
1) Ubiquitous RSS is good. At Attensa we believe that pervasive use of RSS benefits everybody and that makes our technology more valuable. Who better than Microsoft (and Google and Yahoo) to educate and make available basic RSS capabilities? Attensa is about value-add, not the inevitably commoditized RSS reader. We, and our investors (announcement coming soon), are betting that over the next several years Microsoft will do the heavy lifting and educate the masses of the benefits of adopting RSS.
2) But RSS is dumb. Already users are subscribing to dozens of feeds and receiving hundreds of posts per day. And it is only going to get worse as marketers utilize RSS in lieu of traditional internet media. Further, the enterprise and enterprise application vendors are embracing RSS for every conceivable task. As RSS users (whether through Outlook 12 or the common RSS reader) we will soon all be drinking from the proverbial fire hose. The problem will dwarf email inbox overload. At Attensa think this a big opportunity worth solving.
3) With RSS “less is more” At Attensa our business and technology focus is improving the RSS experience through real-time attention stream analytics – the fact that we have or will soon have best of class solutions for Outlook, Mobile, Online and more is almost incidental. Long term (i.e. once Outlook 13 or 14 finally gets it right) our attention stream infrastructure will sit quietly, behind the scenes, making the defacto standard RSS reader simply “work better.”
4) Outlook 12 adoption happens when? In the meantime, and surveying the competitive climate for readers and pondering the en masse adoption of Outlook 12 in the enterprise (early 2008?) we think there is considerable opportunity to provide quality RSS experience for users of Outlook 2000 and later for the foreseeable future. As for Outlook 12, I think most would agree without even seeing it that there will be considerable opportunity to make it better.