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Monday, September 11, 2006

Microsoft Max - One stop for RSS feeds and Photo organizing

Microsoft has added a desktop feed reader to its Max photo viewing and sharing software.

To use Max you must be on a Windows machine running the new Windows .NET Framework 3.0 RC1 (it will self install if you are on a previous version). Additional requirements are here.

I downloaded the 54 MB file and installed it on a newish Windows machine. The best way to describe the interface (see screenshot) is…beautiful. Posts are divided up into a two column view with a newspaper look and feel. Max is handling HTML and CSS very well, something I haven’t seen with any other reader.

Adding and removing feeds is also very intuitive, although Max did not auto-discover feeds in my tests. You must give it the exact feed URL.

If you haven’t tried the Max photo tools, you should check it out as well. It does a very good job of indexing photos stored on the hard drive and allows for easy sharing with friends by email. If these tools are bundled in with Vista, and we assume they will be, PC-based desktop aggregators like those offered by Newsgator are going to be in a very tough position competitively.

Download from http://www.microsoft.com/max/download.html