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:

SP32-20060524-081056.jpg

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

SP32-20060524-081206.jpg

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:

SP32-20060524-081242.jpg

Clicking ‘advanced’ brings up this dialog:

SP32-20060524-081301.jpg

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:

SP32-20060524-121904.jpg

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:
SP32-20060524-093420.jpg

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.