Microsoft has extended an olive branch in announcing on Wednesday on the Team RSS Blog that it will adopt the same orange RSS icon used in Mozilla Corporation's Firefox browser.
Two months ago, Microsoft's announcement that it planned to redesign the RSS icon set off a ferocious debate. Microsoft posted a number of icon redesign suggestions, asking the community for its input. This week, Microsoft went public with its plans.
"I'm excited to announce that we're adopting the icon used in Firefox. [They] were very enthusiastic about allowing us (and anyone in the community) to use their icon," wrote a member of Microsoft's RSS Team.
Early responses to Microsoft's decision, posted on the Team RSS were overwhelmingly positive, describing the shared Microsoft-Mozilla icon as "well done!" and "and a welcome change of pace from the browser wars."
Microsoft's RSS Team assured users that working with Firefox on standardization was not an isolated affair.
"This isn't the first time that we've worked with the Mozilla team to exchange ideas and encourage consistency between browsers, and we're sure it won't be the last," Microsoft team members wrote, citing Microsoft's work with Firefox and Opera in making secure HTTPS sites more visible by moving the lock icon in to the address bar.
Not all responders were pleased with Microsoft's RSS icon decision, however. Some argued that the RSS brouhaha took the focus off more pressing IE7-development issues.
"This is great to hear, but I'm not that enthusiastic about the cross compatibility between icons. Will there be the same compatibility with standards support then?" wrote Brady J. Frey, Creative Director of the design firm DotFive.com.
Microsoft proposed a redesign of the RSS icon in October, just months after announcing its intentions for a big RSS push in Windows Vista/Longhorn and Internet Explorer. Initially, there was trepidation on the part of some individuals who feared that Microsoft would exert too strong an influence over the future of RSS.
Since its initial RSS strategy rollout, Microsoft has announced plans to develop SSE (Simple Sharing Extensions) for RSS synchronization.
IE 7 will be integrated into Vista, due out in the latter half of 2006. A standalone version of the IE 7 browser also is expected to ship around the same time next year.