Microsoft has filed for two patents covering technology used to organize and read syndicated Web feeds, such as those delivered via the widely used Really Simple Syndication, or RSS, family of formats.
Naturally, with it came the usual outrage, defending and accompanying noise, trackbacks, comments etc. Mind you, I might lose some “street cred” here from the IT folks who read this (though my forte is definitely on the business side of the fence, not the IT one), one good thing about this is it led me to research the history of RSS. For one, I had no idea who Dave Winer was (yes, that says more about me than he…), so that line of researching led me to unearth a lot of interesting facts.
Alas, finally, one man (Niall Kennedy) goes through the arduous task of reading the application itself (gee, what a novel idea) and explains in somewhat layman terms what the deal is. Enjoy.
A little side note: as blogs develop and take on their own macro-identity in the publishing landscape, each blogger also finds their niche, or calling. It’s nice to see Niall Kennedy follow up in his-depth analysis of Digg’s potential achilles heel with this in-depth look at Microsoft’s patent application. I sure don’t want to say anything bad about anyone else, but I find a lot of blog posts are light on substance, just a rehash of what is said elsewhere, a link to and back, so when I see a nice meaty piece, I can’t help but tip my hat. I sometimes feel guilty when I blast out a 1,000+ word post on something, or a long analysis on a given topic, but when I see Kennedy’s style, I realize that this is exactly why blogging has an interesting place in the future of publishing, news, commentary, analysis and reporting.
UPDATE: MSFT’s response (Don Dodge’s response does not count, in the sense he is not part of the RSS or legal team). Is that humility I detect in MSFT’s tone? God bless Google… now if someone can come and humble Google… we’re kidding, we love Google, even when they steal our idea. We’re just kidding, doubt it was “our” idea and surely, imitation is the nicest form of flattery.