Outlook 2007 & RSS Subscriptions

Friday, March 10, 2006 11:20 AM

I think I’m a bit notorious for being incredibly finicky about my offline new aggregator of choice. I first started with NewsGator Outlook Edition, then I moved onto RSSBandit for a brief stint, then onto FeedDemon, and finally settling on Omea Reader. I’m still stuck on Omea… so far it does everything I want and I’m quite happy with it.

However, it’s been widely publicized that Outlook 12… err… Outlook 2007, will have RSS subscription support. So I decided to give it a shot (sidebar: don’t expect any new nuggets of info in this post, I’m not going close to that NDA line). For the last two weeks I’ve been reading a handful of my subscriptions in both Omea and Outlook 12 (beta 1) just to see how it is. It would be nice to have the power of search folders & the “followup flags” that are well integrated into the new ToDo pane in my feeds again. It would also be nice to come one step closer to my never ending quest of the single info manager (email, RSS/ATOM, NNTP all in ONE app)… wonder if Angus is still on the same quest?

At any rate, so far I’m mildly pleased. I don’t anticipate making a complete jump until beta 2 at the earliest, and I’m eagerly looking forward to seeing if there’s anything new in the Outlook 2007 beta 1 tech refresh due to hit next Monday (official screenshots here, Jensen’s post here).

You can see more about the RSS features in Outlook 2007 on Michael Affronti’s blog (Outlook Program Manager)… he recently posted some info & screenshots on the RSS support in Outlook 2007:

» Gettin’ crafty with reading RSS feeds (from 3/10/2006)» RSS Aggregation – Part 1: The Partnership (from 12/22/2005)» RSS Aggregation – Part 2: Our Implementation (from 1/3/2006)

There is a big downside to constantly switching between different aggregators: you lose your history. One of the biggest upsides to moving my feeds into Outlook 2007 is that they’ll be indexed using the new powerful searching features. But, when I add my OPML of my subscriptions, I won’t get my long history of posts going back many months. What would be great if there was a single way to get RSS items into your Outlook data store? Maybe an implementation using BlogML as the importer? Then all we’d need is exporters for the different aggregators out there. In my case, at least Omea has a nice plugin interface that I could tap into. So then, I’d just need an Omea exporter -> BlogML format and then use a importer that takes a BlogML store and imports it into the RSS Subscriptions within Outlook 2007! OK, I’m secretly hoping someone else does it and I can just use their work (of course, giving them ample credit as they’d deserve it).

Here are some more info on the new search functionality within Outlook 2007 from Michael’s blog…I can speak from experience, it’s QUITE slick and easily one of my favorite new/updated features in Outlook 2007 (along with the ToDo pane, modified follow up flags, hiding the folder view, and the merged task list):

» Instant Search – Part 1: Information Overload (from 12/9/2005)» Instant Search – Part 2: The Find Timeline & Scoping (from 12/12/2005)» Instant Search – Part 4: The New User Interface (from 12/19/2005)» Instant Search – Part 5: The new Search Lexicon (from 1/12/2006)

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