I had the following conclusions and recommmendations:
RSS is a practical working technology not a prototype or a pipe dream. It offers an achievable base camp on the computer industry’s long march towards ubiquitous XML.
Aggregators are the key to deriving operational rewards from RSS, but organisations should shy away from developing their own aggregating software. Competition in the aggregator market, and perhaps the entry of the largest software companies, will provide cheap, innovative useful tools.
It would be prudent to add RSS feeds (and auto discovery) on an ongoing basis to all new software projects. The marginal costs will be very small.
Pilot projects should be undertaken to introduce the software and concepts to a range of staff.
Now I read on Microsoft's IEBlog of the Windows RSS Platform:
You might have seen or read about the RSS functionality in the user interface of IE7 Beta 2 Preview. There is a bit more to it then just letting users subscribe and read feeds from the IE7 user interface. The RSS functionality in IE7 is "powered" by the Windows RSS Platform. The Windows RSS Platform API encapsulates 3 main components: Common Feed List, Feed Synchronization Engine, and Feed Store.
The RSS functionality in IE7 is built on top of these components. While we previously announced that the Windows RSS Platform would be available for Windows Vista, we are extremely pleased to announce that the Windows RSS Platform will also be available as part of Internet Explorer 7 for Windows XP SP2, Windows Server 2003 SP1 and Windows XP 64-bit.
The Windows RSS Platform is available to any application. The idea is that applications can utilize the Windows RSS Platform to become RSS enabled without having to re-implement basic RSS building blocks. This can significantly reduce the time and effort application developers have to invest in order to integrate RSS into their programs.
So anyone who had followed my advice all that time ago would now be in a position to exploit all this new goodness at a huge return in terms of bangs per buck.
This illustrates a perenial problem of the business. Technology Strategy is a real skill and advantage that we have, but we never make any money out of it and only get paid for implementations.
I'm not sure what I can do about it though.