This could be a welcome addition to people who are heavy users of IE7 and its Feed Reader capability. Potentially, (if well-received) it could end up in a future version as an optional configuration. It will be interesting to see how the Outlook and IE teams evolve feed reader capabilities in each application over time. Users will expect a consistent (although not necessarily exact) user experience across Microsoft applications. With Outlook 2007 using a different rendering engine versus IE7 (IE7 also provides rendering services for Outlook Web Access), and with the Outlook team not exploiting the download and storage management aspects of Windows RSS Platform, there are points of divergence already. Note: Pay attention to the full post - this add-in has no formal support.
We are proud to announce that our intern project, Feeds Plus also shipped! It’s a free IE7 add-on that adds two features to the Windows Feeds experience: aggregation and notification. We hope that Feeds Plus will help users get more flexibility and engagement with feeds in Windows.
Feeds Plus, running in the background, can combine multiple feeds into a single, river of news-style feed. All the user has to do is turn on Feeds Plus’ aggregator, and every folder of feeds will sprout an aggregate feed at the top. This can be very useful – for instance, I can make a folder with all of my news feeds and then read all my news at once through the News’ aggregate feed. Read/unread information is synced between the aggregate feed and its children, and aggregate feeds are searchable just like any other feed. If multiple feeds use Simple List Extensions (SLE) then the corresponding aggregate feed will as well – this is cool because you can combine multiple different eBay feeds, and use SLE to sort by price across all of them.
A pop-up feed notification reminiscent of Outlook’s is the second feature in Feeds Plus. The Windows Feed Download Engine always runs in the background, so users have to check to see if new items have arrived. With Feeds Plus, the user can choose which feeds matter most to them and get a pop-up ‘toast’ as soon as those feeds have new items waiting. The pop-up is designed to be unobtrusive—it fades in and out and won’t go crazy and flash every half second—and it includes a handy link to the feeds that it’s announcing: