Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Outlook 2007 and RSS support

As I mentioned last night, I downloaded the Office 2007 beta 2 and have been using it today to see how it works. Outlook’s support for feeds is pretty interesting, so I thought I’d give a run-down on my initial reactions. More after the jump.

First off, since I’d already installed IE7 previously, Outlook detected that there were some feeds I’d subscribed to and wanted to know whether I wanted them synchronized:


In the preview pane within Outlook, there were some links to feed URLs that would trigger a subscription in Outlook, using a new protocol:


When you go to subscribe to a feed, Outlook pops up a “security” window that makes you confirm you want to subscribe to the feed:


Clicking ‘advanced’ brings up this dialog:


Note the ability to pre-fetch the webpages associated with the click-through links, the ability to download enclosures (though they will definitely need to provide some guidance to “normal” users about what enclosures are and why they should care), and the final check box: “update this feed with the publisher’s recommendation”. The explanation seems to be that publishers can set an update threshold in the feed, and may throttle anyone who exceeds that threshold.

Once configured, the feeds get added to your mail folders much like any other folder for your email:


Guess it doesn’t show a colon (since my feed title is actually “tins ::: Rick Klau’s weblog”). My initial pass through the feeds showed quite a few duplicates getting loaded in – not sure where those are coming from, but I’ll try to debug.

Finally, this is interesting. When I launched FeedDemon (during a customer demo, no less!), I got the following dialog:

Looks like Outlook set itself as a default handler for the feed: protocol (though this wasn’t a configuration option, that may well be an oversight during the beta process).

These are just my first impressions, I’ll keep an eye on this and report back with any other observations that are worthwhile.


  1. OneMan's Thoughts better be part of your feeds (now that I use Feedburner(tm))

  2. Thanks for the screenshots and review.

    Did Outlook auto-discover your FeedBurner feed?

    For those sites that offer a choice of feeds, did Outlook also offer the choice, or did Outlook choose one on its own?

    Thanks again for the insight.

  3. Microsoft Taking RSS Seriously in 2007 Releases

    After much rumor regarding how much RSS will be integrated into the new Microsoft releases of their 2007 Office line as well as Vista OS, Rick Klau of Feedburner gives us some intiial reaction to how Outlook 2007 integrates feeds....

  4. Henry - Yes, you're there. Outlook's just not my feedreader of choice (yet?) so I haven't loaded any feeds from my "real" list in yet.

    Mike: I haven't seen any Outlook auto-discovery yet. Still trying to figure out the simplest way to subscribe to feeds in Outlook...


  5. [...] Will, you’ve talked about this before. I’ve also argued against this. Managing massive amounts of information is a critical skill. Not that it requires having hundreds of feeds but as the power of RSS becomes more prevalent, and I think it will as it converges more with email, we’ll have to figure this out. I believe our focus should be to: [...]