Charlene Li of Forrester Research is under embargo on a forthcoming announcement by Microsoft on new activity with Really Simple Syndication (RSS), but that doesn't stop her from telling people to go read Dave Winer:
The first clue that something weird was happening at Microsoft around RSS was when Sean Lyndersay picked me up for dinner on the first night of my visit. I asked what part of Microsoft he worked for. He said he was on the RSS Team. I gulped. You mean there's an RSS Team at Microsoft? Yeah there is.
On Friday you'll see how deeply integrated RSS is in the architecture of the browser. But that's just the tip of what may turn out to be a very big iceberg.
RSS has gone so far beyond the simple news reader, so gradually, that whatever Microsoft announces at the Gnomedex conference will undoubtedly catch a lot of folks off guard. Dean Hachamovitch, GM of Microsoft's Internet Explorer team, is set to give a keynote at the show Friday.
It's not difficult to think of many functions and uses of RSS on the desktop and in the enterprise - beyond blogging - where Microsoft could give its software a jolt.
(Charlene Li, for example, has been working on a report at Forrester on the non-blog uses of RSS by marketers.)
And if Microsoft doesn't get creative and proactive with RSS, its competition will. IBM is already testing RSS for internal communications.
RSS isn't about blogging or news clipping. It's about communication and efficiency and it looks like Microsoft may be eager to put it to much broader use.