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Ballmer Emphasizes RSS Importance

Internet Explorer 7 and the Windows Vista operating system will support RSS, and Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer thinks RSS feeds will grow in importance to Internet users.

At Microsoft’s seventh annual MSN Strategic Account Summit, Ballmer offered remarks during his “Digital Marketing Outlook: The Future Is Now” to attendees. The CEO hit on a variety of topics during his talk, from gaming to communication to interactivity.

He did take a couple of minutes to talk about the Internet, and Microsoft’s technologies related to RSS feeds. While feedreading has been more embraced by those who work and use technology very frequently in their lives, Microsoft should be the engine to drive RSS to greater adoption.

“I think for a lot of you RSS feeds will increasingly be an important way for how you essentially allow your users to sign up to receive your messages,” Ballmer said to the advertising, marketing, and media professionals in attendance.

RSS offers an opt-in model to receiving content that places much greater control of the flow of information to a user. While legitimate firms that use email for communication do enable people to unsubscribe from an email list, sometimes those email lists find their way into other hands.

And not everyone is equally as effective, or even concerned with allowing people to easily dump those email subscriptions. Of course, unwanted junk mail plagues millions of users with email accounts.

RSS does not have a spam problem. And if a RSS feed publisher suddenly became aggressive in filling a subscriber’s feedreader with junk, a simple click is usually all it takes to remove that feed from the reader.

“Users are far more selective about where they want to see advertising online than offline, but users are also more willing to sign up and say I’ll subscribe to things that are important to me,” Ballmer said in noting how Microsoft will build the platform that enables RSS in Windows.

While a few companies have arrived with the intent to capitalize on the mass adoption of feedreading, it may be Microsoft that pushes RSS feeds past a tipping point. With Windows, IE, and Office on so many PCs worldwide, the addition of a user-friendly way to use RSS could go from its core techie audience to a dramatically larger group of users in a hurry.

Microsoft already released the full beta 2 version of IE 7, and early adopters can try out Microsoft’s RSS features today. Judging by Ballmer’s speech, this is just the beginning.

About the Author:
David is a staff writer for WebProNews covering technology and business.

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Camilla Todd
Camilla Todd is Head of Digital Marketing at WNW Digital and manages Search Engine Optimisation, PPC, Social Media campaigns and Brand Awareness for WNW Digital SEO clients. You can follow her on Twitter @camilla_wnw, email her at or phone on 01392 349580

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