Creating a feed syndication platform at Microsoft

Starting next week I will join Microsoft’s Windows Live division to create a new product team around syndication technologies such as RSS and Atom. I will help build a feed syndication platform leveraged by Microsoft products and developers all around the world. I am excited to construct a team and product from scratch focused on scalability and connecting syndication clients and their users wherever they may exist: desktop, mobile, media center, gaming console, widget, gadget, and more. is the new default home page for users of the Internet Explorer 7 and the Windows Vista operating system. will be the first feed syndication experience for hundreds of millions of users who would love to add more content to their page, connect with friends, and take control of the flow of information in ways geeks have for years. I do not believe we have even begun to tap into the power of feeds as a platform and the possibilities that exist if we mine this data, connect users, and add new layers of personalization and social sharing. These are just some of the reasons I am excited to build something new and continue to change how the world can access new information as it happens.

I’ll be working out of Microsoft’s Silicon Valley campus but hopefully there will be a new San Francisco office in the near future. I’ll be working closely with the Hotmail storage team to make sure the platform scales and with the MessageCast Windows Live Alerts team to make sure you can customize how you receive new content. Microsoft Research already has a few projects focused on the blogosphere as well as research into new search and social networking techniques. Windows Live is all about your info, your relationships, and discovering new things all in a seamless and secure experience. Oh so much fun, it’s just a matter of prioritizing and having a strong enough platform on the back-end to make it all possible.

I want RSS and Atom syndication technologies to be available anywhere, integrated as the background technology delivering new information when and where it matters most. Read your own personalized top news stories while waiting for the bus. Track your friends’ Halo results anywhere. Pull the latest information off the corporate intranet and into an authoring application. Load your own niche content channel into your DVR. Update the art on your walls. I geek out on this stuff and could go on and on.

I will continue to engage the community. There are some big challenges ahead for the entire syndication industry that are best solved by working together. There is a need for new shared metadata initiatives to describe rich media such as podcasts, videos and images. Some content publishers are holding back their content due to a lack of clear authentication and feed noindex options. The industry can gain a lot by having open dialogue and working groups around various issues in the space and I will continue to look outward for new ideas, partnerships, and best practices.

I’m excited about the many opportunities before me in my new job. Not quite as excited as Steve Ballmer running around on stage but I’ll stay focused on building great products.

Steve Ballmer

Add my feed to your favorite aggregator to stay informed of the latest news as a new journey is just around the corner. Onward!


Commentary on "Creating a feed syndication platform at Microsoft":

  1. DaveMc500Hats on wrote:

    Congrats Niall… total score for the Empire, and many expressions of “dang” for everyone else (most especially Yahoo & Google, if they were in the running).

    however, hope you won’t forget us little people who knew you way back when ;)

    best of luck with the new endeavor, and we all expect to see / hear great things.

    (ps – watch the fit on the death mask, i hear the breathing apparatus can be a bit noisy :)

    – dave mcclure

  2. etalk on wrote:

    Congratulations Niall! Awesome group of folks down at the Mountain View campus (and Redmond too!) You’ll have a good time…

    I hope you don’t abandon the awesome SF Tech Sessions. It’s great to have a venue where start-ups can be seen without a $1200 conference fee.

  3. Niall Kennedy on wrote:

    SF Tech Sessions will continue each month. Still working on the next venue.

  4. Kingsley on wrote:

    Congratulations! And glad you decided to keep the techsessions going.

  5. Chris on wrote:

    Glad to see you joining Windows Live Niall :)

  6. Alex Barnett on wrote:

    Niall. This is excellent news!! Welcome!!

  7. Tantek on wrote:

    Congratulations Niall!

    You’re joining a great team, and they’ve definitely scored by hiring you as well.

    We’ll definitely have to grab lunch sometime soon so I can let you in on various bits of MS-SVC “trivia”. ;)


  8. Charlie Wood on wrote:

    Congrats, Niall! Now please, for the love of God, make sure the platform includes support for secure feeds!


  9. Frank Gruber on wrote:

    Congrats Niall! That is awesome news!

  10. Robert Scoble on wrote:

    Congrats dude, this is awesome! Can’t wait to see what you do.

  11. vanderwal on wrote:

    Congratulations on joining MS Live. They are a great team and are doing some great things. They have added another winner to their team.

  12. Dare Obasanjo on wrote:

    It was nice talking to you on the phone last week. I’m glad to see you’re coming over. I’m sure we’ll be chatting a lot once you get your feet wet. ;)

  13. Baher on wrote:

    Congrats and good luck, Microsoft is lucky to get you.

  14. Kevin Briody on wrote:

    Congratulations Niall – and one more reason I like working on Windows Live, we’re hiring some fantastic people :)

  15. Robert W. Anderson on wrote:

    Congratulations. Sounds like a cool role.

  16. Tom Raftery on wrote:

    Excellent Niall,

    Sincere congratulations – and maybe now we’ll get a version of which will work on the Mac!!!

  17. Tom Raftery on wrote:

    Excellent Niall,

    Sincere congratulations – and maybe now we’ll get a version of which will work on the Mac!!!

  18. Bubba Murarka on wrote:

    Niall you sly dog you…can’t wait to see you around campus! Congrats and wanna commute? :)

  19. Julie Farago on wrote:

    Welcome! It’s really exciting to have you on board!

  20. Christian on wrote:


    That is awesome! I don’t know if you remeber me, but I came to your house with my gf last year to play old-school Mike Tyson Punch-out. Anyway, I actually moved back to LA and now am at MSFT. Interestingly enough, when I saw you had left Technorati, I was going to contact you about openings at MSFT as you would of been perfect. Anyway good to hear that you are on board! I have to shoot you an email to your alias

  21. Ryan Pollock on wrote:

    This isn’t what I expected from a Mac addict, but congrats.

  22. Chris Pirillo on wrote:

    Dammit. Move to Seattle. :)

  23. Greg Linden on wrote:

    Congrats, Niall!

  24. Jeff Clavier on wrote:

    I had to check if this was posted on April 1st :->. Congrats Niall, I look forward to hearing about your new product.

  25. Bill Kelm on wrote:

    Congratulations Niall!

    I agree with Kevin Johnson. When MSN brought you on board, Windows Live is “..enhancing the leadership team and structure across the division..”

  26. aldamiz on wrote:

    Congratulations Niall, good news!

  27. Ian Kennedy on wrote:

    I know you were just holding out until there was a way to run Windows on your Powerbook. With Apple’s Bootcamp out and Leopard on the way, all the pieces were now in place.

    Congratulations – I’m looking forward to seeing some cool stuff!

  28. Matt Cutts on wrote:

    Congrats Niall! Hope everything goes well at your new job!

  29. Kami Huyse on wrote:

    Let me add my voice to the chorus, congratulations on your new appointment. I look forward to seeing what you do at MS.

  30. Josh Elman on wrote:


    Congratulations! This is great news for Microsoft and for us to see new open platforms for feeds!

  31. Shannon Clark on wrote:


    Congrats on the job! Sounds like a great opportunity and good to see Microsoft picking up great talents.

    There is a small SF Microsoft office (on Market near the Ferry building) but perhaps they need to expand it..

    Hope you can make it to both Thursday’s SFWIN and to MeshForum in May – it would be great to have a bunch of people from Microsoft at MeshForum – our focus this year on visualization and on large scale social networks would, I think, be of interest to many groups within Microsoft.



  32. John Panzer on wrote:

    Congratulations Niall! An interesting move to say the least.

  33. Igor Jablokov on wrote:


    Hmm…sunny California & lattes. But…don’t any of you want to work for Big Blue?!?! We invented all this decades ago…while walking 100 miles to work…barefoot…uphill…in the snow. Bah…(goes back to running airlines, banks, & Krispy Kreme). ;-)

    Seriously, good luck there! :-)

  34. Jeremy Pepper on wrote:

    Congrats Niall, and will toast you at the next Tech Session. :)

  35. vazi on wrote:

    I’d like to see Naill going to build a wonderful publishing platfarm instead of HTML. :)
    New platfarm should include more things! How to subscribe P2P download seed(BitTorrent is popular in China)? How to discuss the same subject in any platfarm(Blog comment, IM chat, Email, even mobile phone SMS) ? Do you like feed contains your favorite TV program’s schedule and show them to your any device(TV,PC, Mobile phone) on time?

    Feed as a new platfarm, I have a lot of dreams to implement.

  36. Dennis T Cheung on wrote:

    Congrats! Drop my office when you’re in SVC – it’s near Bubba’s. And I’m curious what Tantek’s MS-SVC trivia is…

  37. Mike on wrote:

    Wow, what huge news!! Niall, as a favor to your designer and all his friends, please make work flawlessly on Safari ;)

    Congrats man!

  38. Lee Wilkins on wrote:

    Congrats Niall, hope all goes well

  39. Danny Sullivan on wrote:

    Congrats, Niall! I hope you’ll make improving RSS broadcasting to SPOT watches a top priority :)

  40. Satish on wrote:


  41. veronica on wrote:

    as long as you don’t go around screaming “developers, developers, developers” i don’t think we have anything to worry about! good luck on your new endeavors, Niall!

  42. Saar on wrote:

    Very excited for you Niall! Congratulations!

  43. mano on wrote:

    Welcome aboard Niall :)

    -mano (MSX)

  44. Nancy Tubbs on wrote:

    Just awesome. Great opp for you, great catch for them. Looking for some very cool things to come out of this.

    Any chance of SVTechSessions? Nice venue there.

    And is Ballmer actually skipping?

  45. JasonCalacanis on wrote:

    way to go…. developers, developers… uhhhh…. syndication! syndication! syndication!

  46. Nima Dilmaghani on wrote:

    Welcome to the dark side. It is great to have you on the Microsoft team.

  47. Alexander V. "Sandy" Hamilton III on wrote:

    Hey Niall, huge win for you and Microsoft. Congrats to the both of you. We’re cheering for you here at NewsGator.

  48. Anastasia on wrote:

    You’re joining a great team, and they’ve definitely scored by hiring you as well. We’ll definitely have to grab lunch sometime soon so I can let you in on various bits of MS-SVC “trivia”. ;)