Today at the Mix’n’Match conference taking place in Redmond, Microsoft announced a new Windows Live service that enables the sharing of data through standard web feeds such as RSS and Atom: FeedSync. The specification is now available to developers from http://www.feedsync.org/ under a Creative Commons License.
Previously known as Simple Sharing Extensions (or SSE), the specification has evolved, from an idea first put forward by Ray Ozzie, through discussions between Microsoft and the SSE online community. What makes the FeedSync specification useful is that it as well as enabling data inputs from multiple devices/locations at the same time, it is designed to resolve any conflicts that may come about as a result.
For example, imagine if Windows Live Calendar beta offered FeedSync capabilities. Users would then be able to subscribe to their own RSS feed, and if they so wished, ammend appointments simply by editing the feed. Of course this would require a FeedSync client, something not yet available, but it would seem like a good use of the technology.
For those wishing to test out SSE, you can do so over at Live Labs. We’ve got a test feed of our own, though we don’t really know what to do with it at the moment – that’s early adoption for you. Permission for the feed can be set based on Live IDs for both reading and editing, though at the moment there is no contacts picker, just the manual entry of email address. Other things to note are that it displays your Live ID alias in the feed, and that deleted items don’t seem to get removed.
If you’re wondering how we got the pictures in our feed, its because we previously played around with Windows Live PhotoZoom Alpha, and so this account has some options our other accounts don’t. From this it seems as though there may be the ability to embed Silverlight Streaming applications in the future, but that may be a leap of logic too far for this v1.0 spec & demo. It is worth noting though that both PhotoZoom and FeedSync/SSE are products of the Ray Ozzie Concept Development Team.