The web is the new desktop

google_reader.gif 

Google has launched a new online blog reader (known to techies as an RSS feed reader). 

I’ve been playing with it this morning.  My preliminary view on this beta version are:

Pluses:

– nice look and feel – using Ajax to scroll through blog entries

– allows you to tag posts yourself so you can group them later (rather like GMail’s virtual folders)

– allows you to import your feeds in OPML

Minuses:

– OPML import doesn’t seem to work 

– It is slow (too slow to be usable). (For example, it does not seem to pre-load my feeds before I come to read them, and appears to load them in real time.)

My conclusion is that when this works, it will probably become my feed reader of choice. But it isn’t there yet. In the meantime, I’ll stick with akgregator.  As ever, more suggestions in Wikipedia.

More generally, this is yet another example of how Google is gradually (actually, not very gradually) taking over from Microsoft.  The web will be the new desktop. 

Update: October 7th – I’ve been playing and find I can import OPML files if I first edit them and remove all the categories, and change the header to:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>
<body>
        <outline type="rss" … etc

But the whole thing is painfully slow. Not switching yet.

2 thoughts on “The web is the new desktop”

  1. I got OPML import to work on the first try, although the UI didn’t respond to let me know that the import was complete. (Just had “importing…” stuck on the screen until I clicked away and there were all my feeds.)

  2. Dave

    Interesting. Mine is still not working – I have just retried from feeds exported from both akgregator and from sharpreader.

    But the site seems to be much, much quicker now, which is good.

    Owen

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