Windows Live Reader


I got an anonymous tip from somebody. So don’t take this as a leaked info. or anything. There’s a possibility it’s not real. Plus, I don’t even have screenshots to show. 😦

So anyways, coming in 2008 is supposedly Windows Live Reader – a program that’s suppose to be able to display any RSS feeds, documents, spreadsheets, eBooks, and possibly online newspapers, and e-mails. Maybe even anything with subscriptions (user-made). Sort of like a Google Reader, but more.

There’s a desktop version (of course) and a web-based version.

Microsoft might be buying NewsGator to help accomplish this task. NewsGator appears to have small friendly ties to Microsoft with practically the best RSS reader for Windows (not Mac), work with SharePoint 2007, and RSS add-on for Outlook. All appear to be free. So obviously, considering that NewsGator has pretty good ties with Microsoft products, an acquisition from Microsoft wouldn’t be too surprising.

So here’s some "unconfirmed" speculation about it:

  • Can display Kindle eBook content via partnership with Amazon
  • Contain Silverlight/WPF
  • Might read all Microsoft Office formats – for those unlucky enough not to have Office
  • Be available mobile
  • Ability to display title link, short excerpt, or even the whole thing (including all pics, videos, Flash parts, etc.!)
  • Subscribing and adding is as easy as 1-2-3
  • Imports IE7 RSS feeds, Outlook Feeds, or any other currently used feed service on user’s computer
  • Able to export to any other possible feed service
  • Podcasts! Ability to subscribe and view on WLR as well.
  • Sharing feature – share feed(s) with contacts or whoever via e-mail/WLM
  • Dynamic inline search
  • Keyboard shortcuts
  • Metadata (tags) support
  • Possible extension of WLR to Xbox 360 to view on a big screen?
  • Folders – duh
  • Video subscriptions via MSN Video?
  • Possibility of small text ads

So just that you know, these are some ongoing details of what could be in WLR. Hopefully it’s as easy to customize, have a good UI, and do add-ons/extensions.


6 thoughts on “Windows Live Reader

  1. Thanks for the info – I have been dying for for MS to do a Windows Live Reader for sometime.  I haven\’t used NewsGator so I don\’t have an opinion on it as a reader, but there should absolutely be a connection between Windows Live Mail (the desktop client) and a WLR application.  WLM already reads feeds from the Windows RSS store and defining the relationship between the Windows RSS store and a WLR system would be a very important integration story to get right.  Having NewsGator around would be good perhaps for the advanced crowd (or providing an api into the WLR data store so that other RSS readers could plug in and be used), but building it into an email client like WLM would be huge for adoption.  I already have subscribed my Grandparents and Parents to various family member\’s blogs through WLM so they can read them like they do email.  Reducing the barriers to reading them has been huge – I have technical colleagues at work who have no idea what RSS is, but my Grandma uses it everyday!

  2. @Bryan Hinton : Thanks for the pleasant comment. But remember, this is all pure speculation. A little from me, and a little from my \’source\’. And Microsoft hasn\’t had a good track history of always releasing things (Windows Live TV) or even finishing up betas (Live Qna, Live Favorites, Live Product Search, etc.). So don\’t get your hope up to high on this one. Just a fair warning.

  3. Totally understand Michael – I never heard the rumors about Live TV so I am not sure what market they were shooting for on that.  On Live Favorites I am interested to see what they are doing with Listas.  To me it has alot of what Favorites does for you (minus the sync with Favorites on your desktop), but a platform that is more competitive with say – or the other social bookmarking sites (you can tag on Listas for example).  I wouldn\’t be surprised to see some combination there down the road. 
    With the Windows Live Reader concept the market is much stronger I believe than a Live Qna or Product Search the other nice thing is there have been a bunch of sites Google Reader especially to teach/show what features are the most important (having the Share feature that Google Reader has is a must I love that!).  Here is hoping that 2008 brings about an announcement in this area.

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