RSS Aggregation – Part 1: The Partnership

RSS (Really Simple Syndication) is meant to provide users with an easy way to monitor multiple sources of news, blogs, and other content which has headline-style delimitations and is updated frequently.  It is an open, publicly-defined and developed format based on standard XML and hosted by the publishers’ web servers.  A user ‘subscribes’ to an RSS ‘feed’ using an application with RSS aggregation capabilities.

RSS Aggregation in Outlook is aimed at providing the user with a consistent look, feel, and experience while interacting with RSS feeds and related information.  While RSS can be a complex technology to interact with, Outlook will merge the complexities and cover it with our friendly user interface.  From the beginning of interacting with a feed using the subscription process through managing your feeds, their associated folder hierarchies, and potentially sharing feeds with others, Outlook will cover RSS in those situations from end-to-end.

Interacting with RSS feeds will be extremely similar to managing your mail items now.  Since we will have RSS live within the mail module we will keep the standard look and feel of folders, hierarchies, and the drag-and-drop support that users have come to depend and rely on.  RSS items will be a derivation of the message class, so compliance with ZOOM and our related core technologies will be easy to implement.  Roaming support will enable Exchange users to have their feed items follow them from machine to machine, keeping their RSS items with them at all times. 

Comments (32)
  1. I’m really looking forward to the inclusion of RSS support in Outlook. I’m constantly using Outlook, but I’m also monitoring a lot of feeds. How perfect to have everything in one place!

    I also think this will fit in well with my product, ZipLine ( ZipLine is a set of web services that can accept input from several sources and convert the info. into RSS feeds. Outlook integration will be at the top of my todo list.

  2. Tim Rowe says:

    That’s all well and good that Outlook now supports RSS, but how good will the support be? Does it only have headlines visible and you have to view the articles individually, like you would with mail? If so, that’s not particularly useful.

    I’ve yet to find an RSS aggregator that does what I want, and does true aggregation by time – every aggregator I’ve seen that allows you to have exerpts/content aggregated and read splits it up by site – so you get all the news from one site, followed by another site, followed by another different site.

    If Outlook 12 doesn’t have the ability to put unread items in a newspaper style view, ordered/merged based on timecode rather than site/feed, then I can see this becomming a very over-rated/unusable feature.

  3. Dan R says:

    I too am looking forward to RSS Feeds in Outlook. I have been getting RSS feeds in out look for years using a third party tool. Since I live in outlook the intigration has made life much more productive. However the third party tools available have lost focus to the needs and functionality sought from people who live in outlook. Keep the good news comming!

  4. mariano says:

    If you can get the same easy of use of Outlook with feeds I think you’ll "eat" the market for this kind of tools… and im really looking forward to see some app where i can use feeds or share it with other people which is "les-than-advanced-user" of PCs 🙂

  5. Bala says:

    About time I guess! 🙂 RSS is a must have across the Office Suite too. Consider tasks from MS Project being available as RSS feeds. These could automatically feed into the resource’s RSS aggregator – Outlook or MSN Messenger or Trillian… With SSE, the ability to update status on the task would be a cool feature!

  6. I use RSS Popper currently, which uses forms. Will this use forms as well?

  7. razorshine says:

    will we be able to sync to 3rd party rss aggregators like bloglines, newsgator etc? Or will you provide your own through something like windows live mail?

    How secure will it be? I presume like outlook, activex controls will be disabled – what about being able to play back audio or video feeds etc? At the very least, if it must be blocked, it would be nice to lose that activex warning popup – implementation similar to the popup blocker in IE or images blocked in Outlook would be nicer – more coherent too.

    As others have mentioned, will it always pull in the full feed like feeddemon?

    Having the option to see all feeds in one folder sorted by time is an interesting idea – I have found though that having all my rss feeds in one folder is problematic. Not all RSS feeds are equal.. so splitting it into folders suits me best 🙂 (maybe mixing both together is a better solution.. or being able to create tags (ie virtual folders ala Vista) for different types of rss feed.

  8. Mark Woodman says:


    Is it safe to assume you are using "RSS" in the generic sense, and that support in Outlook 12 will include everything available through the Vista Unified Feed Parsing API? (RSS 0.9x, RSS 1.0, RSS 2.0, Atom 0.3, and Atom 1.0)



  9. giafly says:


    A) Please can the usual mail rules be available for RSS feeds, so I can (1) filter spam and known trolls and (2) route input to different folders depending on content?

    B) I second razorshine’s comment about blocking active content.

    C) Which functionality requires Exchange?

  10. Frank Bulk says:

    In response to Tim Rowe’s comment, you can do a chronological display of your RSS feeds if you create a "Search" folder on all your RSS feeds sorted by date.

    I use that now with NewsGator, and it works fine.


  11. Will this implementation allow for centrally managed subscriptions in addition to personal ones. I believe RSS will be used more and more within enterprises to distribute information from enterprise systems. With that in mind it will be key that certain channels are pre-subscribed to on behalf of the user, so that this information just arrives to them.

    Additionaly the UI samples above look very busy and crowded! You need to at least include the RSS icon next to the RSS Subscriptions folder!

    See here:

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  15. Feed reader for Microsoft Outlookはマイクロソフト・アウトルックをRSSリーダー化するソフト。ニュースやRSSフィードなど収集したい情報を購読すると、最新ニュースをメールとしてOutlookのメールフォルダに入れてくれる。メールを閲覧するのと同じ感覚でRSSフィードを読むことが可能だ。

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