About 20 of us gathered after Bloggercon for the aggregators dinner hosted by Robert Scoble. We ended up around a very long table that made it impossible to have one structured conversation, but everybody seemed to enjoy their individual conversations. We had the who's who of RSS readers almost sitting next to each others: Sebastian Gard (Onfolio), Greg Reinacker (NewsGator), Dan Gould, Mark Fletcher (Bloglines), Scott Johnson (MyFeedster), Karan Bavandi (Optimal Access) & Nick Bradbury (FeedDemon). And funny enough, we did not talk RSS, readers and blogs that much.
One discussion reminded me my product days at Effix/Reuters: the ever decreasing content of Shorthorn (OK it is cheap) and the difficulty that Microsoft is now facing in bringing any innovation, or more generally, any new code to market. Because of the well known issues of security flaws, Scoble explained that developers have to go through lenghty design, code and test validation phases. Avalon was also pointed out as a technology that was initially supposed to be Longhorn specific, and will end up being available on other platforms - the only way to get some adoption from ISVs in a reasonable timeframe.
Bottom line, as Adam Bosworth ventures it, it will take Microsoft 5 years to bring a substantial revision to market... as opposed to the potential continuous deployment of features that service-based product offering enjoy today. Though we'll see in a couple of years how quickly new service-based platform revisions can be made, once "legacy management" (API backward compatibility, consistent behavior, "bug" emulation) will have become an issue.
We also discussed why Microsoft did not bundle the .NET runtime with XP SP2 and W2K SP4, just to make sure that application vendors (like NewsGator) do not need to detect its presence, bundle it if need be, etc. Apparently, the issue is that they can be perceived as forcing it on their users.
How did we end up talking about this during an Aggregators dinner ? Just following the flow of the conversation... Thanks to Robert for organizing this, it was great.