Microsoft may abandon its proposal to rename RSS.

A well-known Microsoft blogger Tuesday downplayed the proposed use of a new name for RSS (Really Simple Syndication) in the next version of Internet Explorer (IE) following several days of intense discussion about the notion of rebranding RSS in the blogging community.

Robert Scoble, a Microsoft technical evangelist, said the company had not made a final decision as to whether it would rename RSS "Web feeds" in the final version of IE 7.

Aim for consensus

"We never said Microsoft has decided to rebrand RSS," Scoble said. "It's a year ahead of Windows Vista being released and we're trying to work with the community to get some consensus."

In the IE 7 Beta 1, RSS feeds are called "Web feeds".

Many bloggers see the decision to rebrand RSS in the beta as worrying, with some critics concerned that the move may be part of a larger plan by Microsoft to recast RSS in its own image.

Both Scoble and Mike Torres, MSN Spaces lead program manager for Microsoft, claimed in their blogs that Microsoft has no plan to rewrite RSS but is trying to come up with a way to name the technology in a way that is generally accepted in the industry and among Web users.

'We're not evil'

Scoble said in an interview that because of Microsoft's "history" - which famously includes attempts to create proprietary implementations for standard technology - the company wants to be careful and "do the right thing" in regards to RSS.

In one widely publicized case over the branding of an accepted technology standard, Microsoft ended up paying Sun Microsystems $1.9 billion last year to settle a seven-year lawsuit over the software giant's implementaton of Java.

"I'm fighting that [former] path," Scoble said. "We're just trying to be compliant with everyone here not do something evil."