NewsGator Extends Reach With Subscription Service

NewsGator Online Services allows access to aggregated RSS feeds from multiple e-mail clients, the Web and mobile devices; meanwhile, an updated Outlook-specific reader hooks into the new service for synchronization capabilities.

NewsGator Technologies, known for its news aggregator that plugs into Microsoft Outlook, is reaching beyond the single e-mail client with a new service offering launched on Wednesday.

NewsGator, a Denver-based division of Reinacker & Associates Inc., unveiled NewsGator Online Services, a set of tools for reading content from RSS and Atom syndication feeds via the Web, through any POP3-compliant e-mail client and on mobile devices that support HTML.

Not to be outdone, the NewsGator for Outlook reader itself is being updated. NewsGator 2.0 will include integration with the Online Services offering so that users can synchronize their syndication subscriptions among readers on multiple computers, devices and the Web.

Both NewsGator Online Services and NewsGator 2.0 will be available on Jan. 19. Content aggregators such as NewsGator pull together subscriptions to multiple syndication feeds from sources such as Weblogs, news Web sites and newsgroups.

"We have a lot of customers that use Outlook at work and at home, and there was no easy way to have their subscriptions in both places," NewsGator President Greg Reinacker said. "Online Services adds synchronization, not just of subscriptions but also of what you have read and what you havent yet read."

With its Online Services offering, NewsGator is hoping to expand interest in content aggregation to a less-technical crowd, Reinacker said. The service will include exclusive content for subscribers, such as technology news, comics and special interest columns.

"RSS and content aggregation has had a stigma for a while of being a techie kind of thing, but were trying to add more mainstream content to make it more exciting for the average user," Reinacker said.

NewsGator also is focusing more on features for developers and the enterprise in Version 2.0 of its Outlook reader. It is making an API available so third-party developers can build extensions into NewsGator and create "arbitrary extensions" for RSS and Atom feeds.

With arbitrary extensions, an enterprise can add custom data into feeds and have them processed by NewsGator. Support for such custom data could be particularly useful for enterprises that want to integrate workflow applications with RSS and Atom feeds, NewsGator officials said.

Pricing for a NewsGator Online Services subscription will start at $5.95 a month per user. NewsGator 2.0 for Outlook works with Microsoft Outlook 2000 or later and will cost $29 a copy.