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One of the newest and most popular ways to deliver Web content is through "feeds," XML-driven syndication technologies that allow users to download summaries of content without having to actually see the content itself. RSS and ATOM are two of the most popular syndication formats, widely supported by a variety of third-party readers. Outlook has no built-in way to read RSS or ATOM feeds. Fortunately, a free Outlook plug-in called RSS Popper has been designed to fill that need.
RSS Popper, in version 0.19 as of this writing, can read RSS 0.91/2.0, ATOM 0.3 and RDF feeds. You need Outlook 2000 or better to run it, Windows 2000 or better, and .NET Framework 1.1 or higher.
Once installed, the program creates a top-level folder in Outlook Today called -- appropriately enough -- RSS. The program creates several default feeds (among them, BBC News). To add or edit feeds, right-click on the program's icon in the system tray and select Edit Feeds. (The Refresh Feeds menu selection can be used to manually refresh feeds, but the program also refreshes feeds automatically.)
If you use RSS Popper on a system that has both Exchange Server and Outlook installed, it creates a .DLL conflict. Since Microsoft doesn't recommend installing Outlook on the same computer Exchange, this is not technically a problem with RSS Popper per se.
Future features planned by the author include integration with Internet Explorer, an Outlook Express edition (if possible), and eventually porting the program to an actual Outlook add-n.
About the author: Serdar Yegulalp is the editor of the Windows 2000 Power Users Newsletter and a regular contributor to SearchExchange.com.
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