Google announces feed API

Niall Kennedy, of Technorati, has the news that Google will release a feed API in early 2006.

Here’s another note to Bill Gates, Steve Ballmer, and Ray Ozzie. Hey, I asked you guys to acquire NewsGator three months ago. If you had done that you would have taken the wind out of Google’s sails. But now that Google has a feed API, we’ll need one too and right now NewsGator looks pretty good. Yeah, I know, we have RSS-SSE coming, and we have some Groovy other stuff coming too, but that’s not here yet and it’s hard to get developers excited about a new and unproven API (Google has its work cut out for it too because they don’t have that many RSS users yet. Emphasis on yet).

Yeah, I know that NewsGator has its problems too. Now, we do know that NewsGator’s API is too difficult to use. Why do we know that? Cause Dare Obasanjo (one of our developers who works on MSN Spaces backend and also does the excellent RSS Bandit in his 20% free time) is having troubles figuring it out. Dare writes about the Google news here.

Let’s be honest. We’d rebuild NewsGator from scratch anyway. That’s what big companies usually do after acquiring companies. But, it’s a lot easier to rebuild something that’s already done than have 500 meetings with seven groups figuring out what to do from scratch. What’s the opportunity cost of doing that?

Let’s look at the case for NewsGator again. They own four out of the six most used aggregators. They have the leading Outlook aggregator. Yeah, we’re doing our own in Office 12, but let’s be honest, how long will it be before that gets to more than 50% usage? I’d guess 2010. And even then there are lots of people who’ll still have Outlook 2003, and older Outlook clients, who’ll need to read feeds. Yeah, Attensa is out there with a good competitor too, but Attensa doesn’t have an API. I bet they’ll sign onto Google’s API (or they’ll be bribed with some of Google’s money).

Let’s look at the Mac. NewsGator owns NetNewsWire. It’s the best feed reader on the Mac — by far. Buying NewsGator would rejuvenate our MacBU. The Macintosh is gaining in market share and if Apple announces a nice Intel-based portable computer in January watch things go up even faster.

Now, let’s look at Media Center. A very high percentage of all PCs sold are actually Media Center Editions. Now, who has an aggregator for that? NewsGator again. Why is that important? Well, look at Chris Pirillo’s house. He has an HDTV in his family room. He has an Xbox 360. And he has a Media Center in his office. What was one of the first things he showed me? His Media Center playing on his Xbox’s screen. Now, imagine if NewsGator was pulling down podcasts. If it was going off to the BBC and pulling in pictures and news. If it were going to his Flickr feeds and pulling down his friend’s photos in live time.

Now, switch over to my sooopppeerrr doooopppeeerrr new SmartPhone. Who has an aggregator for that? A few companies, but NewsGator has a Web service that shows me feeds. I like it a lot.

OK, now we are still a company that cares about regular old Windows, right? After all, we’re shipping a new version of Windows next year. So, who has the best aggregator for Windows? NewsGator again. With FeedDemon.

To put a little icing on the cake, NewsGator is the only RSS syndication system that hooks into Microsoft Exchange that I know about.

You’re not on any of these? Well, did you know NewsGator also has a Web client that’s getting raves? I like it better than Bloglines (which is one of the popular feed readers that NewsGator doesn’t own).

Oh, and here’s even more icing: on top of all this NewsGator does blog search and does it better than many of the more popular “blog search” engines. Why? Cause it searches YOUR feeds (which don’t include all the blog spam that hit other engines).

All this stuff is synchronized. Read a feed on your Mac, it marks it as read on Windows, and on SmartPhone, on the Web, on the Media Center, and in Outlook.

Anyway, if you were Bill/Steve/Ray what company would you want to acquire?

Comments

  1. I’m starting to get the feeling you like a specific product here… You seem to be laying subtle hints that MSFT should acquire somebody, but I just can’t put my finger on who it is.

  2. I’m starting to get the feeling you like a specific product here… You seem to be laying subtle hints that MSFT should acquire somebody, but I just can’t put my finger on who it is.

  3. Robert, which ship vehicle would you propose such an acquisition would go out in? Or do you think this would be in its own product? Or, perhaps, free?

  4. Hey Robert – you pre-announcing the take up rate for Office 12 already? Some crystal ball you’ve got there. And when was the last time M&A discussions took place over blogs? Could be a first…

  5. Robert, which ship vehicle would you propose such an acquisition would go out in? Or do you think this would be in its own product? Or, perhaps, free?

  6. Hey Robert – you pre-announcing the take up rate for Office 12 already? Some crystal ball you’ve got there. And when was the last time M&A discussions took place over blogs? Could be a first…

  7. Robert you pretty much summed it up perfectly.

    If I was in charge of M&A I would have purchased AOL and Newsgator a long time ago.

    I would also buy Divx networks. They have a fantastic codec, that everyone who pirates loves, and it’s just so… nice!

  8. Robert you pretty much summed it up perfectly.

    If I was in charge of M&A I would have purchased AOL and Newsgator a long time ago.

    I would also buy Divx networks. They have a fantastic codec, that everyone who pirates loves, and it’s just so… nice!

  9. Dahowlett: actually, I think uptake on this version will be a lot faster than that, but I wanted to be very conservative.

    Richard: that certainly would be an interesting process!

    Hep: that’s a real interesting question. Parts of it certainly could be free. We do have a whole new services strategy here and the MSN folks need more advertising inventory to sell.

    But, I think it could be a cool new part of Office. That’s my gut, anyway.

  10. Dahowlett: actually, I think uptake on this version will be a lot faster than that, but I wanted to be very conservative.

    Richard: that certainly would be an interesting process!

    Hep: that’s a real interesting question. Parts of it certainly could be free. We do have a whole new services strategy here and the MSN folks need more advertising inventory to sell.

    But, I think it could be a cool new part of Office. That’s my gut, anyway.

  11. Lecturing your M&A team, isn’t exactly going to go over well. Stick to slamming shaky cameras (with bad audio and poor edits) into run-on droningly boring developers faces.

    Plus, an acquiring public company under SOX must FIRST look at the target’s critical accounting policies; financial due diligence in the age of Sarbanes-Oxley. In addition, the SEC requires disclosure when a public company is considering a merger, hence your blog post could be reasonably detemined to be a ‘consideration’, and thus already be a SEC violation.

  12. Lecturing your M&A team, isn’t exactly going to go over well. Stick to slamming shaky cameras (with bad audio and poor edits) into run-on droningly boring developers faces.

    Plus, an acquiring public company under SOX must FIRST look at the target’s critical accounting policies; financial due diligence in the age of Sarbanes-Oxley. In addition, the SEC requires disclosure when a public company is considering a merger, hence your blog post could be reasonably detemined to be a ‘consideration’, and thus already be a SEC violation.

  13. Robert — you state that “NewsGator owns NetNewsWire. It’s the best feed reader on the Mac — by far.” Not trying to be snippy here (I have used NNW on and off since 1.0, and I think it’s a great product, and Brent Simmons is a wonderfully responsive developer), but how many aggregators have you used on OS X? Just to pick a name out of the air, David Watanabe’s NewsFire is a fantastic product, and one that some prefer to NNW.

  14. Robert — you state that “NewsGator owns NetNewsWire. It’s the best feed reader on the Mac — by far.” Not trying to be snippy here (I have used NNW on and off since 1.0, and I think it’s a great product, and Brent Simmons is a wonderfully responsive developer), but how many aggregators have you used on OS X? Just to pick a name out of the air, David Watanabe’s NewsFire is a fantastic product, and one that some prefer to NNW.

  15. If you just realize that everything Scoble is hot on, is a perfect short sell. All will be fine.

  16. Yeah, you buy Newsgator and the NetNewsWire users either stay frozen at version 2.0.1 or switch to Safari RSS or one of the other Mac RSS readers.

    It’s not synchronized with the Mac, at least not publicically. But hell, I can’t even FIND NNW at NewsGator.com. I can find a news story that about the acquisition, but I can’t find a link for all of the other spiffy products you talk about in your post. If I go to NetNewsWire.com I end up at some domain squatters site. If I go to http://www.newsgator.com/netnewswire, guess what I get? A 404. I have to go to Ranchero.com to find NNW. Heck, I can’t even find Feeddemon there. At least it’s at feeddemon.com. What a mess.

  17. Yeah, you buy Newsgator and the NetNewsWire users either stay frozen at version 2.0.1 or switch to Safari RSS or one of the other Mac RSS readers.

    It’s not synchronized with the Mac, at least not publicically. But hell, I can’t even FIND NNW at NewsGator.com. I can find a news story that about the acquisition, but I can’t find a link for all of the other spiffy products you talk about in your post. If I go to NetNewsWire.com I end up at some domain squatters site. If I go to http://www.newsgator.com/netnewswire, guess what I get? A 404. I have to go to Ranchero.com to find NNW. Heck, I can’t even find Feeddemon there. At least it’s at feeddemon.com. What a mess.

  18. That’s the sum total of your rebuttal to question my validlity, to go for the personal attack? Wow, even High School Debate teams could whip you into pudding. But you should consult my resume before you toss out statements like that. As yes I have, a few Fortune 100’s actually. But even min. wage stock clerks at Wally World work for one of the biggest public companies in America. So your “big company” point is moot.

    80% of all mergers fail to kick back any shareholder value, that’s a SEC reported fact. You think you are lucky here? I doubt it. Easy to dupe, nothing really special with Newsgator, they are just a third-party add-on company, that is able to turn the ship faster than MFST.

    But a quick history lesson…

    MSNBC – ouch, that ending price tag gotta hurt.

    AOL – failed after a year of talks.

    Great Plains and Navision – Oucccch (eventually maybe something, not now tho). How to Kill Big Players by Mergers 101.

    FolderShare – wheeee (pointless).

    Groove Networks – Where is that again? Stuck somewhere in Office 12?

    Rare – expensive Xbox battle gameplan.

    Slate/UPC/Corel – umm never mind, it be for sale.

    Titus and Peach – Digital TV ratholes. Ouch. Expensive.

    Front-Bridge, ContentGuard, Vermeer, Jump Networks, Softway, One Tree, RenderMorphics, Fox Software Inc., Connectix – Good pieces of an exventual puzzle yet with heavy abandonware risks, expensive tho.

  19. That’s the sum total of your rebuttal to question my validlity, to go for the personal attack? Wow, even High School Debate teams could whip you into pudding. But you should consult my resume before you toss out statements like that. As yes I have, a few Fortune 100’s actually. But even min. wage stock clerks at Wally World work for one of the biggest public companies in America. So your “big company” point is moot.

    80% of all mergers fail to kick back any shareholder value, that’s a SEC reported fact. You think you are lucky here? I doubt it. Easy to dupe, nothing really special with Newsgator, they are just a third-party add-on company, that is able to turn the ship faster than MFST.

    But a quick history lesson…

    MSNBC – ouch, that ending price tag gotta hurt.

    AOL – failed after a year of talks.

    Great Plains and Navision – Oucccch (eventually maybe something, not now tho). How to Kill Big Players by Mergers 101.

    FolderShare – wheeee (pointless).

    Groove Networks – Where is that again? Stuck somewhere in Office 12?

    Rare – expensive Xbox battle gameplan.

    Slate/UPC/Corel – umm never mind, it be for sale.

    Titus and Peach – Digital TV ratholes. Ouch. Expensive.

    Front-Bridge, ContentGuard, Vermeer, Jump Networks, Softway, One Tree, RenderMorphics, Fox Software Inc., Connectix – Good pieces of an exventual puzzle yet with heavy abandonware risks, expensive tho.

  20. Scoble: I don’t know if Christopher has worked at a big company, but he is right about Sarbanes-Oxley things being a pain in the neck. I’m glad I don’t have to (directly) deal with it. Most major companies have a team ensuring that all SOX policies are adhered to (from what I understand), so that should be a testament to how crazy it is.

    Also, I wasn’t suggesting they acquire Scobleizer to shut you up. They would just rebuild you from the ground up and not include the second-guess-executives DNA strand. ;)

  21. Scoble: I don’t know if Christopher has worked at a big company, but he is right about Sarbanes-Oxley things being a pain in the neck. I’m glad I don’t have to (directly) deal with it. Most major companies have a team ensuring that all SOX policies are adhered to (from what I understand), so that should be a testament to how crazy it is.

    Also, I wasn’t suggesting they acquire Scobleizer to shut you up. They would just rebuild you from the ground up and not include the second-guess-executives DNA strand. ;)

  22. Good for you Christopher – doesn’t it just suck like a Seville orange when history suddenly pops up and smacks folk in the intellectual gut?

    But seriously, you’ve got a point here. There’s Robert defending some numbers no-one else has divulged in filings I’ve seen. Of course he can always say: “I’m just a tinsy winsy blogger, I’m blowing smoke out my ass to see what others think. I’m no exec. I’ve no inside track…” Maybe true in part – but by any standards, Robert has a Titanic sized megaphone.

    I don’t see too many SEC type people being too impressed. Or those accountable to shareholders who might just think that being ‘conservative’ or not is hardly a great way to be part of Microsoft’s marketing efforts.

    Many inside and outside of MSFT might find it amusing, but not many of those who bet their savings on holding MSFT stock.

  23. Good for you Christopher – doesn’t it just suck like a Seville orange when history suddenly pops up and smacks folk in the intellectual gut?

    But seriously, you’ve got a point here. There’s Robert defending some numbers no-one else has divulged in filings I’ve seen. Of course he can always say: “I’m just a tinsy winsy blogger, I’m blowing smoke out my ass to see what others think. I’m no exec. I’ve no inside track…” Maybe true in part – but by any standards, Robert has a Titanic sized megaphone.

    I don’t see too many SEC type people being too impressed. Or those accountable to shareholders who might just think that being ‘conservative’ or not is hardly a great way to be part of Microsoft’s marketing efforts.

    Many inside and outside of MSFT might find it amusing, but not many of those who bet their savings on holding MSFT stock.

  24. Microsoft dosn’t buy. It watches and replicates fast.
    Google throws lots of stuff at the wall and sees if somethings sticks.
    Yahoo looks at others throwing mud on the wall and collects mud thats about to stick.

    Sorry Scoble, you would have been at better mud collection if you were at yahoo.

  25. Microsoft dosn’t buy. It watches and replicates fast.
    Google throws lots of stuff at the wall and sees if somethings sticks.
    Yahoo looks at others throwing mud on the wall and collects mud thats about to stick.

    Sorry Scoble, you would have been at better mud collection if you were at yahoo.

  26. I do understand that you kind of have to talk yourself into a piece of deadend technology like NewsGator and I can even imagine that you actually use NewsGator by yourself or think of it as something worthy.

    But face it: the real world doesn’t like it and much worse: doesn need it as well! “But hey…” you say, “..they don’t like Outlook as well (and same still use it) – so what’s your point?”

    My point is that only buisness freaks use Outlook because it was pushed on them, and those poor guys just happen do not know something better. And of course Microsoft chicks use it, part of them for the same reason. Not so slowly this changes.

    If Microsoft isn’t smart enough to recognize that the world around them has changed abit, they’re a doomed.

    The Future says: Online Aggregators, read: #1 Bloglines, #2 Google Reader, #3 Rojo…

    NewsGator Online better than Bloglines? Hahaha! Not even a bad clone yet.

  27. I do understand that you kind of have to talk yourself into a piece of deadend technology like NewsGator and I can even imagine that you actually use NewsGator by yourself or think of it as something worthy.

    But face it: the real world doesn’t like it and much worse: doesn need it as well! “But hey…” you say, “..they don’t like Outlook as well (and same still use it) – so what’s your point?”

    My point is that only buisness freaks use Outlook because it was pushed on them, and those poor guys just happen do not know something better. And of course Microsoft chicks use it, part of them for the same reason. Not so slowly this changes.

    If Microsoft isn’t smart enough to recognize that the world around them has changed abit, they’re a doomed.

    The Future says: Online Aggregators, read: #1 Bloglines, #2 Google Reader, #3 Rojo…

    NewsGator Online better than Bloglines? Hahaha! Not even a bad clone yet.

  28. Christopher – As someone who came to Microsoft through the RenderMorphics acquisition, I’d disagree with the “expensive” part ;-) The technology we produced was delivered by the team itself, and was massively successfull over time (and still is). Just look at Direct3D.

    Also, here’s another couple for your list:

    BAO begat Flight Simulator, which I believe is the longest running Microsoft product ever.

    Bungie: Halo/Halo 2. Anybody heard of those. Fairly successfull I think.

  29. Christopher – As someone who came to Microsoft through the RenderMorphics acquisition, I’d disagree with the “expensive” part ;-) The technology we produced was delivered by the team itself, and was massively successfull over time (and still is). Just look at Direct3D.

    Also, here’s another couple for your list:

    BAO begat Flight Simulator, which I believe is the longest running Microsoft product ever.

    Bungie: Halo/Halo 2. Anybody heard of those. Fairly successfull I think.

  30. [...] Stubbing your SOX – Microsoft style By Dennis Howlett Sometimes bloggers screw up big time and then we get to find out whether the so-called blogosphere is a talking shop in miniature or wether it has real influence. Today is one of those days. In a post about Google but which discussed the issue of RSS feds, Microsoft uber-blogger said:"Yeah, we’re doing our own in Office 12, but let’s be honest, how long will it be before that gets to more than 50% usage? I’d guess 2010. And even then there are lots of people who’ll still have Outlook 2003, and older Outlook clients, who’ll need to read feeds." I pounced on this. Since when was Scoble the self-appointed sales forecast person at MSFT? Must be a new position. OK – so I’m assuming Scoble has some inside research track others don’t. Is he divulging a material event for the purposes of Section 404. Sarbanes-Oxley Act?When questioned about the predictive quality of the post, Scoble comes back with:"Dahowlett: actually, I think uptake on this version will be a lot faster than that, but I wanted to be very conservative."Which is it ‘honest’ or ‘conservative?’ So let’s take this a step further. All those that think Scoble has triggered a 404 event, vote by leaving a comment. (Apart form the fun value, I’ll find out if anyone a: actually reads this over Christmas and b: if anyone knows how to apply 404 in these circumstances) SOX+Scoble, SOX Sarbanes Oxely This entry is filed under Compliance. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site. Leave a Reply [...]

  31. Folks are missing one fact “Google Reader PM Jason Shellen and engineer Chris Wetherell both confirmed Google’s plans””

    I think, what scobes is pointing out is simple, they (googs) is getting ahead of the game and he suggests a method of short-circuting the corporate brain in a transprarent manner via a blog post.

    Chris C: you call upon the statutes of the soxs line as a rebuttal offering, may I ask the instruments and section that you are refering to in particular ??

  32. Folks are missing one fact “Google Reader PM Jason Shellen and engineer Chris Wetherell both confirmed Google’s plans””

    I think, what scobes is pointing out is simple, they (googs) is getting ahead of the game and he suggests a method of short-circuting the corporate brain in a transprarent manner via a blog post.

    Chris C: you call upon the statutes of the soxs line as a rebuttal offering, may I ask the instruments and section that you are refering to in particular ??

  33. Buying Newsgater might even buy some excitement around Office 12. But if it’s considered a threat in any manner, no way in hell it will happen. Any product that entices its users to spend more time on the web rather than working within an office product is never going to be a hit at Microsoft. What happens if Office users *gasp* start feeling comfortable using a web based reader? Doesn’t this lead them right into Writely? :-)

    Would be a great MS purchase but I don’t see it happening. Office has too much clout to block it.

  34. Buying Newsgater might even buy some excitement around Office 12. But if it’s considered a threat in any manner, no way in hell it will happen. Any product that entices its users to spend more time on the web rather than working within an office product is never going to be a hit at Microsoft. What happens if Office users *gasp* start feeling comfortable using a web based reader? Doesn’t this lead them right into Writely? :-)

    Would be a great MS purchase but I don’t see it happening. Office has too much clout to block it.

  35. Yeah, ok, Bungie and BAO…good points (my bad for leaving off list, wasn’t meant comprehensive), though Bungie wrapped in the total overall Xbox budget per se, so a loss even if a hit. FolderShare, however impressive a developer kick (even that’s up for debate), still won’t impact shareholders.

    MFST’s M&A are a mixed bag, horrid in content and Cable TV. Crumbling for things they can’t work into a strategic advantage, (Solomon, Great Plains, Navision). But good in things that can mix into the whole, ie. Vermeer becoming MS FrontPage.

    easier to rebuild something that’s already done

    You’d think, but actually sometimes it’s easier to start from zero, than to rework outside code in. All varies tho, case by case.

    But Ian McAllister with his hints per “some senior players at another Tier 1 Internet company” and Scoble, with more the lucid dreaming wishlists, man, I wonder when SOX is gonna bite the bloggers. But in and ironic way, they really need not worry, the general market doesn’t care, blogging is overhyped in its importance. And the blogger rumor mills have less than a coin flip in terms of accuracy levels.

  36. Yeah, ok, Bungie and BAO…good points (my bad for leaving off list, wasn’t meant comprehensive), though Bungie wrapped in the total overall Xbox budget per se, so a loss even if a hit. FolderShare, however impressive a developer kick (even that’s up for debate), still won’t impact shareholders.

    MFST’s M&A are a mixed bag, horrid in content and Cable TV. Crumbling for things they can’t work into a strategic advantage, (Solomon, Great Plains, Navision). But good in things that can mix into the whole, ie. Vermeer becoming MS FrontPage.

    easier to rebuild something that’s already done

    You’d think, but actually sometimes it’s easier to start from zero, than to rework outside code in. All varies tho, case by case.

    But Ian McAllister with his hints per “some senior players at another Tier 1 Internet company” and Scoble, with more the lucid dreaming wishlists, man, I wonder when SOX is gonna bite the bloggers. But in and ironic way, they really need not worry, the general market doesn’t care, blogging is overhyped in its importance. And the blogger rumor mills have less than a coin flip in terms of accuracy levels.

  37. Am I missing something here… Isn’t the web the platform? Why would anyone need a RSS Platform?

    Who cares how many aggregators Newsgator owns. Let’s get serious …how hard is it to build an aggregator? How hard is it to reformat RSS to read in Outlook? For a company with the resources of Microsoft, I would think not too hard.

    What exactly are you buying by buying Newsgator? It’s not going to solve the big company disease that Microsoft is infected with. It’s still very very early in the RSS game. Remember Lycos, Excite and Infoseek. They all got bought!

    Just launch Vista already…. If it does RSS, it will have more distribution than all the platforms and aggregators combined in what the first week?

    And Newsgator… for god’s sake change your freakin’ name….. Why would anyone have Gator in their name? Even Gator changed their name! ;-)

  38. Am I missing something here… Isn’t the web the platform? Why would anyone need a RSS Platform?

    Who cares how many aggregators Newsgator owns. Let’s get serious …how hard is it to build an aggregator? How hard is it to reformat RSS to read in Outlook? For a company with the resources of Microsoft, I would think not too hard.

    What exactly are you buying by buying Newsgator? It’s not going to solve the big company disease that Microsoft is infected with. It’s still very very early in the RSS game. Remember Lycos, Excite and Infoseek. They all got bought!

    Just launch Vista already…. If it does RSS, it will have more distribution than all the platforms and aggregators combined in what the first week?

    And Newsgator… for god’s sake change your freakin’ name….. Why would anyone have Gator in their name? Even Gator changed their name! ;-)

  39. I don’t really like any of the readers I’ve tried. Matter of fact, not a one offers the feature I want most — and remember seeing in the first reader I tried years ago: Chronological view of all feeds. If I have 100 feeds, I want to see every story in a single pane in the order it is time-stamped. That way I can quickly glance at the latest stories, regardless of source. I don’t see that feature anywhere. Anyone have a client that does this (PC side of the house)?

    Until there is a compelling reason to use an alternate program/service, I stick with Sage.

  40. I don’t really like any of the readers I’ve tried. Matter of fact, not a one offers the feature I want most — and remember seeing in the first reader I tried years ago: Chronological view of all feeds. If I have 100 feeds, I want to see every story in a single pane in the order it is time-stamped. That way I can quickly glance at the latest stories, regardless of source. I don’t see that feature anywhere. Anyone have a client that does this (PC side of the house)?

    Until there is a compelling reason to use an alternate program/service, I stick with Sage.

  41. Kirk95: when you ask “how hard is it to make an aggregator?” you sound a lot like a NIH person. It’s very hard to do it well. Which is why you’re seeing so much angst in the comments here.

  42. Kirk95: when you ask “how hard is it to make an aggregator?” you sound a lot like a NIH person. It’s very hard to do it well. Which is why you’re seeing so much angst in the comments here.

  43. Robert,

    Why you talk about this in public? Use your 2 hours response time in communications with Steve Ballmer and make this happen.
    Too many talking without results is not good. Even more – some people already noticed that MSFT shareholders can sue you – as it can look like you are trying to play a game with stocks. You have real motivation to play this game – as you probably have some options.
    Show us results please!

  44. Robert,

    Why you talk about this in public? Use your 2 hours response time in communications with Steve Ballmer and make this happen.
    Too many talking without results is not good. Even more – some people already noticed that MSFT shareholders can sue you – as it can look like you are trying to play a game with stocks. You have real motivation to play this game – as you probably have some options.
    Show us results please!

  45. [...] Microsoft’s Robert Scoble, who has been urging Gates, Ballmer and Ozzie to buy NewsGator for a while, hammers the message home yet again: “Hey, I asked you guys to acquire NewsGator three months ago. If you had done that you would have taken the wind out of Google’s sails. But now that Google has a feed API, we’ll need one too and right now NewsGator looks pretty good.” [...]

  46. “Cause it searches YOUR feeds” ???
    I wish this was true. Newsgator definately does not search my feeds. I asked for this feature a long time ago, and just recently they told me it will be coming soon.

  47. “Cause it searches YOUR feeds” ???
    I wish this was true. Newsgator definately does not search my feeds. I asked for this feature a long time ago, and just recently they told me it will be coming soon.

  48. [...] 7. Listen to Scoble and get the freaking checkbook out and buy some dominant websites/services/products and then don’t ruin them before the ink is dry. Digg and Memeorandum are there for the taking if the price is right. Another relatively small player that isn’t on many folks radars but would fit in nicely with their blog search and the webmaster space: think Adcenter (sorry I promised not to mention these folks in 2005 again, but they just fit this post too well). I’m talking about BlogExplosion (referral). One of the first things website owners and bloggers want to do is increase their site traffic and BlogExplosion is currently leading their niche market, which would give Microsoft an edge in an area where they are weak and Google is strong: delivering traffic to third party sites that are not paid advertisers. [...]

  49. [...] Robert Scoble yrittää saada pomonsa ostamaan NewsGatorin. Tuotevalikoimaa firmalla ainakin on. Googlen feed-API on todellinen uhka, koska yllättävän monella on käytössään useampi kone, joilta kaikilta pitäisi olla pääsy feedeihin. Microsoftin Vistaan suunnittelema, koneen kaikkien sovellusten yhteinen feedivarasto on hyvä alku, mutta ei riitä kuin yhden koneen orjille. [...]

  50. Christopher: Microsoft didn’t buy Groove to get Groove. They bought Groove to get Ray Ozzie. That’s where they expect return of investment.

  51. Christopher: Microsoft didn’t buy Groove to get Groove. They bought Groove to get Ray Ozzie. That’s where they expect return of investment.

  52. One more missed above: Visio

    I was in the process of recommending it to a government agency with about 45,000 seats. Had a trial version and was scanning and drawing our network topology with it. Had signed non-disclosure on several upcoming features that would run circles around anything out there (to this day). I was working FOR the agency, not as a middleman sales-rep, so all I had to do was turn in my report and money would flow.

    All of a sudden the Visio people didn’t return phone calls so I ditched the report. Next thing I know its an add-on to Office, minus the more useful features, and the stuff in the pipeline never saw the light of day.

    This is what I hate about Microsoft. They not only crush competition, they crush innovation even if it isn’t competition. They are a bull in the china shop of US technology, which is why I think they have set us back at least ten years in many areas. That’s why I think that the only hope for technology to break free is for the US to become a second class citizen, a fate well on its way to happening.

    Congratulations Microsoft, and congratulations to Scoble for participating (probably unknowingly) in the cover-up.

  53. One more missed above: Visio

    I was in the process of recommending it to a government agency with about 45,000 seats. Had a trial version and was scanning and drawing our network topology with it. Had signed non-disclosure on several upcoming features that would run circles around anything out there (to this day). I was working FOR the agency, not as a middleman sales-rep, so all I had to do was turn in my report and money would flow.

    All of a sudden the Visio people didn’t return phone calls so I ditched the report. Next thing I know its an add-on to Office, minus the more useful features, and the stuff in the pipeline never saw the light of day.

    This is what I hate about Microsoft. They not only crush competition, they crush innovation even if it isn’t competition. They are a bull in the china shop of US technology, which is why I think they have set us back at least ten years in many areas. That’s why I think that the only hope for technology to break free is for the US to become a second class citizen, a fate well on its way to happening.

    Congratulations Microsoft, and congratulations to Scoble for participating (probably unknowingly) in the cover-up.

  54. macbeach: I’m not trying to cover anything up here. If you search on Visio you’ll find a few ex-employees who’ve given their side of the story.

    It’s the downside of acquisitions. They rarely go well unless there’s a real strategic reason to do them and unless the teams doing the acquisition really understand what they are buying and want to work with (and for) the new team.

  55. macbeach: I’m not trying to cover anything up here. If you search on Visio you’ll find a few ex-employees who’ve given their side of the story.

    It’s the downside of acquisitions. They rarely go well unless there’s a real strategic reason to do them and unless the teams doing the acquisition really understand what they are buying and want to work with (and for) the new team.

  56. NewsGator rocks! I still like Google Reader’s keyboard shortcuts, though. Except that they’ve ignored my suggestion for page-up and page-down keys–I would think that F and B would work since their other keystrokes are very vi-like. Perhaps when MS acquires NewsGator, you can have them incorporate some good keyboard shortcuts.

  57. NewsGator rocks! I still like Google Reader’s keyboard shortcuts, though. Except that they’ve ignored my suggestion for page-up and page-down keys–I would think that F and B would work since their other keystrokes are very vi-like. Perhaps when MS acquires NewsGator, you can have them incorporate some good keyboard shortcuts.

  58. Is Microsoft too stupid to code a RSS API by themself? It’s a piece of cake to code something like that. By the way, RSS is old, Atom is more the way to go. As always, Microsoft is too late …

    Why does Microsoft drop core things in Vista (like WinFS) but puts useless things (like an RSS api, eye candy, ..) in? Right .. to win users and to fight back against what they think is their worst enemy, Google and OSS.

    Trust me, within 10 years Windows is doomed. People just use Windows because they’re used to it, not because it’s a good OS. Just look at all security holes it has … Do we pay for that?!

  59. Is Microsoft too stupid to code a RSS API by themself? It’s a piece of cake to code something like that. By the way, RSS is old, Atom is more the way to go. As always, Microsoft is too late …

    Why does Microsoft drop core things in Vista (like WinFS) but puts useless things (like an RSS api, eye candy, ..) in? Right .. to win users and to fight back against what they think is their worst enemy, Google and OSS.

    Trust me, within 10 years Windows is doomed. People just use Windows because they’re used to it, not because it’s a good OS. Just look at all security holes it has … Do we pay for that?!

  60. “you have this assumption that MS has to compete on everything. why?”

    Because Microsoft is a convicted monopolist felon and this culture permeates Microsoft from the executive boardroom to the janitorial closet.

  61. “you have this assumption that MS has to compete on everything. why?”

    Because Microsoft is a convicted monopolist felon and this culture permeates Microsoft from the executive boardroom to the janitorial closet.

  62. When I ask how hard is it to write an aggregator, I meant for Microsoft? For me it would be impossible….

    You don’t think Microsoft could write a RSS aggregator in a matter of weeks or months? You guys have MSN, Windows, Office, Servers and .NET… just connect the dots with RSS? I don’t see how hard that is? Sorry? What happened to Team RSS and the orange shoes?

    Why couldn’t Outlook, or IE, or Word, or Excel, or PowerPoint or Microsoft Live or Office Live or all of the above be Microsoft’s aggregator?

    Why couldn’t your server apps be the aggregator. I just don’t get what a Newsgator or Attensa would add to Microsoft? Enterprise RSS? Syncing Posts. Is that a feature, product or company…? Wait a minute Brad’s invested in Newsgator…must be a company. :-)

    So what’s an NIH person? I don’t like the sound of that – yikes… ;-)

    Hey I feel your frustration, I’ve worked in huge companies before…

    Microsoft historically has been the quintessential slow follower. First mover advantage is just not as important when you have billions in cash on the balance sheet and 90% plus share in OS and Office markets. Remember Apple, Remember Borland, Remember Netscape, Remember Google (oops to early on that on one, maybe next year)

    Happy New year!

  63. When I ask how hard is it to write an aggregator, I meant for Microsoft? For me it would be impossible….

    You don’t think Microsoft could write a RSS aggregator in a matter of weeks or months? You guys have MSN, Windows, Office, Servers and .NET… just connect the dots with RSS? I don’t see how hard that is? Sorry? What happened to Team RSS and the orange shoes?

    Why couldn’t Outlook, or IE, or Word, or Excel, or PowerPoint or Microsoft Live or Office Live or all of the above be Microsoft’s aggregator?

    Why couldn’t your server apps be the aggregator. I just don’t get what a Newsgator or Attensa would add to Microsoft? Enterprise RSS? Syncing Posts. Is that a feature, product or company…? Wait a minute Brad’s invested in Newsgator…must be a company. :-)

    So what’s an NIH person? I don’t like the sound of that – yikes… ;-)

    Hey I feel your frustration, I’ve worked in huge companies before…

    Microsoft historically has been the quintessential slow follower. First mover advantage is just not as important when you have billions in cash on the balance sheet and 90% plus share in OS and Office markets. Remember Apple, Remember Borland, Remember Netscape, Remember Google (oops to early on that on one, maybe next year)

    Happy New year!

  64. Companies That Will Be Acquired in 2006

    As I pointed out in my Top Web Predictions for 2006 post, I think the number of high-profile acquisitions will probably slow down in 2006. 
    I could be totally wrong, but I could see the USA and global economy slowing down, as well a…

  65. [...] Even een cliche: wie gaat het winnen? Google, Microsoft, Yahoo, eBay, …? Microsoft gaat wellicht voor Newsgator en is al flink aan de weg aan het timmeren met het Live-concept. Wat Google ook gaat doen (bijvoorbeeld met Google Base): iedereen vindt het ‘evil’. Yahoo heeft nu een veelbelovend begin met Flickr en del.icio.us op hun loonlijst, dus de uitbreidingen en de koppelingen moet weldra gaan komen. eBay gaat Skype waarschijnlijk nog verder integreren in hun diensten en misschien is Meebo in dat opzicht ook wel een goede partij voor ze. En naast al die multinationals is er misschien wel een underdog die het ze verschrikkelijk moeilijk gaat maken het komend jaar. [...]

  66. [...] A-List Microsoft Bloggers Move to WordPress (AUTOMATTIC) Ok so the headline is a little punchy/paunchy, given two people can’t really be a trend, but I wanted to call out that Kim Cameron, recently named Identity’s God, has moved to WordPress. This follows Scoble’s decision (which to my mind is choosing a great tool for the job rather than hypocrisy) to adopt the nifty open source blogging platform. Its surprising Microsoft doesn’t have a runner in this race (enterprise blogging) yet (don’t get me started on Spaces) but then again, the dirssruption has only just begun. Sun and IBM are now both now contributing to Roller, but using a range of platforms for publishing. One of the issues here is that companies are not yet mandating blogging platforms – bloggers tend to choose their own. That laissez faire attitude is likely to change in 2006 as corporations attempt to bring the unmanaged spaces of blogs back into the managed spaces fold: we’ll be talking blogs and digital restrictions management before you know it. We’re going to see the usual industry consolidation and blog platform players will need to establish new partnerships and go to market models. 2006 is the year when the tech leviathans will shift from using blogging to selling it. We should expect to see blogging and social software practices from the likes of Accenture and IGS, and clearer platform development and marketing from the ISV community. So what happens when Microsoft offers its own feed server or blogging server product? Do Kim and Scoble rehost again? I guess the choice is theirs. What about customers and prospects that expect dogfood eating? I don’t think Sharepoint meets feeds is a blogging platform any more than Lotus Domino is. To Scoble’s point: is Microsoft going to buy Newsgator or not? Its actually kind of weird they haven’t, what with the chance to control an API, and buy something already tightly integrated with Microsoft tooling. This acquisition would be about feed aggregating and reading rather than blog and feed serving. It wouldn’t provide a publishing platform, but publishing and subscribing are going to come together anyway in the longer term, through OPML and SSE, or ATOM. Oh yeah – what is the MSDN blogging engine, anyway? For now though, what great references for WordPress. Another lame prediction for 06: it will be a great year for WordPress, which may mean a bigger apartment for the guys at Automattic. Finally let me say the blog spam issue drives me crazy. If Movable Type doesn’t get its act together soon monkchips and tecosystems may be joining Kim and Scoble. We don’t care whether the tool is open source or not, we just want the best tool for the best cost. [...]