By Steve Gillmor  |  Posted 2003-12-08 Print this article Print

& Sun"> With Safari, browsing is now an operating system service. So are spelling checking, Zip compression and, most important, instant messaging services. iChat AV brings usable videoconferencing to the table, integrating IM presence information with any tool that wants to take advantage of its service.

Its the combination of these system services that produces the RSS information router. IM presence can be used to signal users that important RSS items are available for immediate downloading, eliminating the latency of 30-minute RSS feed polling while shifting strategic information transfer out of e-mail and into collaborative groups.

Technology conferences are already seeing 50 percent share of Mac PowerBooks, but the iSight videoconferencing camera can now be used with QuickTime Broadcast or inexpensive third-party tools to stream sessions on the Internet. RSS extensions such as Radio UserLands Enclosures can archive large video and audio files overnight for playback in the RSS container or via an iPod.

Advances in RSS search, offline storage, authenticated feeds, embedded browser rendering and rich authoring tools are in progress, and all kinds of data are yielding to the RSS momentum.

Sure, but as one e-mailer asked me, "Why would developers switch to a platform of only 7 million users?" Perhaps they wont. But they will take a careful look at a Linux look-alike such as Suns Java Desktop System, particularly with its forthcoming Looking Glass user interface and a rumored RSS tool based on Mozillas cross-platform browser. For more on Suns Java Desktop System, check out a full review from eWEEK Labs. Sun has no problem disrupting Outlooks market share with a free RSS router, something Microsoft is loath to do. RSS puts users in charge and at a price they can afford: free.

Contributing Editor Steve Gillmor is editor of eWEEK.coms Messaging and Collaboration Center. His e-mail address is

Steve Gillmor is editor of's Messaging & Collaboration Center. As a principal reviewer at Byte magazine, Gillmor covered areas including Visual Basic, NT open systems, Lotus Notes and other collaborative software systems. After stints as a contributing editor at InformationWeek Labs, editor in chief at Enterprise Development Magazine, editor in chief and editorial director at XML and Java Pro Magazines, he joined InfoWorld as test center director and columnist.

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