InfoCenter vs. iTunes: The Battle of the Podcatchers?

One Microsoft employee is attempting to bring order to RSS feed and podcast chaos. Could his product, InfoCenter, ultimately become Microsoft's equivalent of an iTunes podcatcher? (Microsoft Watch)

Would more people subscribe to RSS feeds and podcasts if they were easier to capture and manage?

Thats the perception of Marc Mercuri, an architect evangelist on the Microsoft developer and platform evangelism team, who has developed in his free time an information aggregator he has coined Information Center, or InfoCenter.

"This [InfoCenter project] was born solely out of a desire to make the discoverability of information easier," Mercuri told Microsoft Watch.

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Carl Franklin, the CEO of Pwop Productions, in New London, Conn., who has had a chance to see the product, described InfoCenter as "an RSS aggregator/podcast-enclosure downloader on steroids."

Mercuri showed off a prototype of InfoCenter to a handful of individuals at Microsofts TechEd conference in June. In July, he unveiled InfoCenter to a broader group via the ".Net Rocks" radio show.

Mercuri is expecting to release the latest InfoCenter bits for download, complete with a newly redesigned interface, around August 9.

When asked whether he had discussed with any division at Microsoft the possibility of InfoCenter becoming a Microsoft-branded product, Mercuri said, "there have been absolutely no talks about this becoming a product."

"Im not focused on where this could end up right now," he added. "What Im focused on is getting this out to people and helping them connect with information, downloads, and communities. Response from folks external and internal has been positive, and Im anxious to see what happens with it once its released into the wild."

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