Nik Cubrilovic knows what will happen once Microsoft Outlook integrates RSS – aggregator companies will fade into history:
The aggregator developers (all of them) are going to have to do something extra special in 2006 if they plan on surviving as stand-alone businesses. They have competition on two fronts, the open source tools (parsing RSS is not complicated) and then the big end of town giving away aggregation on top of existing tools and applications that have a respected and recognised market share.
As Nik notes, something else is going to happen too. Millions of Outlook users are suddenly going to start looking for RSS feeds, and the awareness of blogs is going to shoot up, which is a good thing.
The downside is that IT folks will suddenly be hit with higher bandwidth demands as everyone starts checking their feeds several times a day (shades of Pointcast from years gone by). And nervous executives will be concerned about productivity lost to blog reading. This will likely lead to the wholesale banning of RSS feeds in the office, a poor knee jerk response that will demonize blogs, and keep users from realizing the valuable range of information available to them.
Sadly. Microsoft making RSS feeds commonly available may be the event that casts blogs in a negative light for the corporate world.