NewsGator announced today that effective immediately, all of its consumer software and services are completely free! That includes NewsGator Online, FeedDemon, Inbox, NetNewsWire, and a bunch of other applications. From Greg Reinacker’s post:
But I can hear you asking already…"why, Greg, why would you do such a thing?"
What we’re working to do is to saturate the market with our clients. Anyone who wants a rich experience for consuming content, or anyone who uses multiple computers or devices and wants a best-of-breed experience on each can now use our clients. Using a Mac at home, along with an iPhone? NetNewsWire and our iPhone reader will sync up. Have a PC at the office? FeedDemon will sync with your other two applications. And they’ll all sync with NewsGator Online. It all just works.
He goes on to explain that their strategy is to sell more copies of NewsGator Enterprise Server (NGES) along with other enterprise software and that the sell is easier when everyone already uses the consumer apps. Makes a certain amount of sense.
I’ve paid for a NewsGator subscription in the past, but lately I’ve become quite the Google Reader convert. I still think the synchronization story that NewsGator offers is awesome though, and I may have to give FeedDemon another try now that it’s free. I do miss the ability to take content offline.
If you’re in the market for a new aggregator (or family of aggregators) this is as good a reason as any to give NewsGator a try.
Read: Greg Reinacker
Today I started using a new aggregator for my web feeds. Well, sort of. I downloaded and installed the beta of NewsGator’s Desktop Sync, and now I can read all of my feeds inside IE7 RC1. It’s beautiful! Here’s the details on Desktop Sync:
Desktop Sync is a system tray application that keeps your feeds, folders and read states synchronized between NewsGator Online and the Windows RSS Platform. This means that any application that uses the Windows RSS Platform will be automatically synchronized with your NewsGator Online account!
Yeah baby! That’s what I’m talking about!
The product is the evolution of a demo that NewsGator head honcho Greg Reinacker did back at Microsoft’s MIX06 conference.
I have now used NewsGator Online, NewsGator Inbox (formerly Outlook Edition), FeedDemon and Desktop Sync. As you can see, having the synchronization story that NewsGator provides is incredibly important. Of them all, I think I like Desktop Sync the best. It allows me to read my web feeds in IE7, which means I can take advantage of everything I have inside my browser like favelets and other tools, but without losing the sync capabilities of NewsGator Online.
The application seems really solid for a beta, give it a try!
My aggregator of choice has a new name! NewsGator Outlook Edition is now known as NewsGator Inbox, and the first release candidate is now available (and stay tuned to the blog for future updates). I’ve been playing with it for a while, and it’s very solid. I for one really like the name change – the whole “Outlook Edition” is not as easy to say as Inbox. The change does make me wonder if they are planning to release a version for other mail clients, like perhaps Thunderbird or Entourage. This is just speculation on my part though, I don’t have any insider information unfortunately.
Another bit of NewsGator news hit the wires recently too, this one about the synchronization story with Internet Explorer 7 and Windows Vista:
NewsGator Technologies, Inc., the leading RSS Platform Company, today announced plans that its suite of RSS aggregators will synchronize with the upcoming releases of Microsoft Windows Vista and Internet Explorer 7. The synchronization will enable users to ensure that Windows Vista and Internet Explorer 7 users stay up-to-date with all their subscriptions, whether they are accessing them via the Web, mobile devices, Mac OS-based computers, and other platforms.
Honestly, I don’t know why Microsoft hasn’t outright purchased NewsGator. Seems like a deal that would make a lot of sense. In any case, the announcement is great news for users of NewsGator products like myself.
I’ve also been testing the new FeedDemon beta (another NewsGator product that supports synchronization) and I quite like it. I now use it on my desktop, to complete my own personal synchronization story:
- NewsGator Inbox on my Tablet PC
- FeedDemon on my workstation
- NewsGator Online when I’m using a public computer
Synchronization is powerful, yet its one of those ideas that makes you go “damn, why didn’t I think of that!”
As many of you probably are aware, my aggregator of choice is NewsGator Outlook Edition. I like it because I always have Outlook open anyway, and I can take posts offline and read them when I don’t have an Internet connection. It’s also handy to take advantage of the search folders, flags, and other features of Outlook. Since installing Visual Studio 2005 and switching tablets, NGOE has not worked. I am told there is a conflict that they are working to fix, and I expect it’ll be working again before long. So in the meantime, I’ve been using NewsGator Online, or Web Edition, and I’ve made the following observations:
- I really miss the ability to read stuff offline. You don’t realize how much you use it until it’s gone! And since I always have my tablet with me, I don’t find being able to access my subscriptions anywhere just because they are online all that handy.
- I rather like the Web Edition’s “mark all items on this page as read” feature. It would be good if the Outlook edition had a similar feature that hid items you’ve already read. Each post in the Web Edition also has a “mark as read” button, but unfortunately the item doesn’t disappear, it just is grayed out. Would be much better if the item disappeared!
- I find the online interface clean, but very pale. Sometimes it’s hard to read because everything is so white and grey.
- The “My Clippings” feature works well and is akin to dragging a post to a different folder in Outlook, or perhaps flagging it.
So I guess that while it works quite well, I’ll probably go back to my Outlook version when the conflict is all fixed up.
As you are no doubt aware, I am not a Mac user. I have nothing against the Macintosh, I have just always been a Microsoft Windows fanboy I guess. In any case, some interesting Macintosh news for my favorite RSS aggregator, NewsGator. Seems they are interested in purchasing the Mac’s definitive news reader, NetNewsWire, according to Om Malik:
Richard asked about who is on the menu for Newsgator? He has many guesses and one of them is right: Ranchero Software, the company behind Mac-a-licious RSS reader NetNewsWire. Sources in Silicon Valley tell me that this deal is pretty much done, and expect the deal to be announced sometime on Wednesday at Web 2.0. Greg Reinacker refused to comment. This is going to be a major coup for Newsgator, because NNW is the default gold standard in MacRSS space. This deal would be very much of the same caliber as Newsgator’s acquisition of Bradbury Software, the maker of Feed Demon, a Windows only RSS reader. Back then, I posted this question: Will Newsgator finally buy a Mac desktop application and fill out the obvious hole in its product portfolio. With NNW, Newsgator fills that hole, and in swoop enhances the value of Newsgator Online. Syncing across the platforms? That would be nice.
That would indeed be nice! I really need to get a Mac one of these days, if only so I can play with some of the applications I keep hearing about.
UPDATE: This story is now a done deal! That didn’t take long.
Read: Om Malik
The latest version of my favorite news aggregator, NewsGator Outlook Edition, was released last night! I’m really happy with the way it works. Here are some of the new features, as described by Greg Reinacker:
Read/unread/deleted status of individual items is now synchronized between Outlook edition 2.5 and NewsGator Online (and all other applications using our system – more on that in a bit). Folder hierarchy is now synchronized between Outlook and Online. It’s all as it should be. As someone on the beta said, “it all worked exactly as I expected it to.” Nice.
There are lots of under the hood changes too, so it runs pretty fast, and very stable now. If you’re like me and you spend a lot of time in Outlook, there is no better aggregator than NewsGator. And with the purchase of FeedDemon, it’s only a matter of time before that application is also integrated into the new synchronization platform.
You can read the official announcement, the update Q&A, and download the new version.