Daily Archives: April 7, 2006

The many feed icons of Microsoft

Lots of people assume that Microsoft runs as a single entity. That we are lock step going in one direction. The truth is often messier. We're actually more like 100 companies all under the same roof. That messiness is showing up in the RSS icons we're using.

The IE team uses the same icon the Firefox team does.
The Windows Marketplace team tries to confuse all of us and uses both the Firefox icon, and the Orange XML icon that Dave Winer would like the industry to use. Just for added confusion they add the "My MSN" subscription button. (By the way, Windows Marketplace rocks other than its confusion on which feed icon to use).
The Channel 9 team uses the orange XML icon.
The On10.net team uses the Firefox icon with the word "subscribe" added on.
The new Port 25 open source site (opened just yesterday) uses an orange button with the letters "RSS" on them instead of XML.
Our employee blogs on MSDN don't even try to use an icon, instead just have the word "RSS" in text.
MSNBC uses the orange XML icon.
Microsoft's site for the press uses an orange icon with RSS along with the word "subscriptions."
MSDN, the site for developers, uses an orange "RSS" icon.
MSN Spaces, blogs for people like Maryam, my wife, doesn't use any icon, rather has the words "Subscribe to RSS feed."
The Expo Live team (classified ads) uses an orange "RSS" icon.

Whew, this certainly isn't a good user experience. What do you think? Which way do you want Microsoft to go? Why?

Update: the next version of Outlook and Sharepoint will use the Firefox icon.