According to new Microsoft employee Niall Kennedy, Microsoft’s Ajaxy new website,, will serve as the default homepage for users of Internet Explorer 7 and the Windows Vista operating system. Kennedy says that hundreds of millions of computer users around the world will visit when they load up their new version of IE for the first time. is not an ordinary web page – it is an Ajax homepage that allows users to plug in their preferred RSS news feeds and widgets to create a personalized platform right in their browsers.

For web developers and communicators in general, this is significant for at least two reasons:

(1) This development is going to go a long way towards bringing RSS to the masses, as folks smarter than I have pointed out already. Millions of Microsoft users will be exposed to RSS feeds for the first time when they load up IE 7. This is going to kick start adoption of RSS technology.

(2) Maybe just as importantly, millions of Internet users will be exposed to the possibilities of Ajax for the first time, in the context of a website (I would argue that most people see Google Maps and Gmail as applications rather than websites). does not use Ajax subtlety – it embraces it full on, warts and all. Page elements can be dragged and dropped. The search includes an endless scroll bar. Htting the back button after searching is an iffy proposition.  The user experience is fundamentally different from the experience most of us are used to when browsing the Internet.

Internet Explorer 7 should come out in the second half of 2006 (it’s already in Beta) and Vista will be released in early 2007, supposedly. As Gary mentioned, companies and organizations should go ahead and get those website RSS feeds up and running. And web developers should get ready for clients to start asking for Ajax the way they ask for Flash now.

About the Author
Todd Zeigler
Todd Zeigler serves as the Brick Factory’s chief strategist and oversees the operations of the firm. In his sixteen year career in digital, he has planned and implemented campaigns for clients including the Pickens Plan, International Youth Foundation, Panthera, Edison Electric Institute, and the American Chemistry Council. Todd develops ambitious online advocacy programs, manages crises, implements online marketing strategies, and develops custom applications and software. He is bad at golf though.