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Microsoft Outlook 12: Feed Reader & RSS Aggregator

Michael Affronti, Program Manager for Microsoft Outlook just confirmed that Microsoft Outlook 12 will have an integrated RSS newsreader. Microsoft Outlook is installed on every corporate Desktop and this integrated Web Feeds reader support will increase the penetration of RSS in corporate world manifolds.

Microsoft Outlook 2003 does not directly access or display RSS or Atom content. However, there are severaladd-ons by third-party companies that incorporate RSS and Atom viewing in Outlook. When Microsoft Outlook 2006 is released with RSS aggregator, companies like Newsgator, intraVnews and Attensa that develop Outlook RSS plug-ins may have to roll out more creative features soon to compete with Outlook RSS reader. Same holds true for standalone aggregators like Feeddemon or RSSBandit.

According to this post, interacting with RSS feeds will be extremely similar to managing your [Outlook] mail items now. The RSS reader will keep the standard look and feel of Outlook folders, hierarchies, and the drag-and-drop support.

Though not much details are available about the upcoming Microsoft Outlook 12 edition, CNet review said that Outlook's newsfeeds can travel with your smart phone or handheld. Further, Exchange users will be able to have their feeds follow them from computer to computer. Rober Scoble hopes that this will bring millions of new businesspeople into the RSS world.

Microsoft Office 12 is likely toship in the second half of 2006.