Starting with IE7, Microsoft finally got in the RSS feed business. But it missed one major feature.
IE7 included RSS Feed reading support in the form of feed notification (I’m told when a site has an RSS feed) and integrated feed browsing. Unfortunately, the integrated feed browsing wasn’t really all that accessible. I mean, the functionality is there, but there is no notification for feed updates, and nothing in browser tells me “Hey! A feed you read often has been updated!”. In fact, that’s the worst part about it. You can’t get notifications in any way, you have to manually go check out your feeds. Feeds with updates will be bolded in your feeds list, as show here:
I’ve looked high and low at 3rd party feed readers (For spyware free stuff written by smalltime, non corp. developers, I like snapfiles.com) but I haven’t found one that is effective at notifying me of updated feeds, without being to incredibly bloated or annoying.
Enter Microsoft Feeds Plus. Sure enough, I went looking high and look over the last 6 months for a good feed reader, when all I needed to do is see if Microsoft had come up with a solution to their own problem.
Feeds Plus is an official Microsoft product written by a bunch of interns during a boring summer in which MS didn’t have something else for them to work on. It uses IE7′s feeds list and settings, and integrates a notifier with Windows.
When your feeds have been updated, you get an outlook-esque notification in your system tray, which will take you to the feed in question
It also has a neat feature that will aggregate all of your feeds together within folders. An example of this being useful is if you had all your “News” feeds in a folder, you can aggregate all the newsources together and get one big newspaper-like list of articles from a collaboration of multiple sources.
You can get Feeds Plus here at their official site.