An interview with Amar Gandhi about Vista's new RSS platform

Yesterday I bumped into Amar Gandhi, a program manager on the IE7 team who is working on what Microsoft has been calling the "RSS platform" in Vista, but which I'd simply call a new system service. We found a quiet room and I recorded a 15-minute interview in which Amar talks about the data store, the synchronization engine, integration with desktop search, and the security architecture.

Like a lot of things that seem to be Vista features, this one turns out to be not necessarily so. The key Vista requirement, it turns out, is the ability to run in a protected mode to guard against malicious enclosures. Of course this exactly parallels the case of email, and while a protected mode would be a great thing for email apps, the lack of that isn't holding up the show.

Given IE's past record, caution is warranted. Still, it's a shame that we'll have to wait a year until this capability can get deployed, and until its developers can react to real-world uses of it. In a world of fluidly-evolving services, these long cycle times are becoming an increasing drag.

For that reason, I was encouraged to read this from Scott Guthrie:

Our plan with Atlas is to eschew the traditional two-betas and then RTM model that we often use with big projects at Microsoft, and instead move to a model where we ship very often (at least once every month and often more frequently then that), get feedback as early as possible, share our ideas out in the open (even when they are not 100% baked), and above all use the broader developer community to make sure we build the right technology. [Scott Guthrie: Atlas unleashed]
Exactly. It's fascinating to see these kinds of open source tactics starting to take hold within Microsoft.

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