Today at the O’Reilly Emerging Technology Conference, Microsoft Corp. announced the acquisition of the assets of Onfolio Inc., a privately held, Cambridge, Mass.-based Internet research and information management provider. Onfolio’s technology has been incorporated into the Windows Live™ Toolbar to enhance the way people discover, save and reuse their personal and professional Web research. The new Onfolio Add-in for the Windows Live Toolbar beta will give people convenient ways to collect information online and organize it on their PCs. People can harness this information by saving it onto their computer so that it can be easily accessed for use in documents, e-mail messages and blog postings. In addition, new online information is easily discovered and accessed through Onfolio’s integrated Really Simple Syndication (RSS) aggregator and reader. The Windows Live Toolbar beta with the Onfolio Add-in is available now and can be downloaded at http://ideas.live.com.
Onfolio was founded by J.J. Allaire and others from the old Allaire Corporporation which created the extremely popular ColdFusion before being acquired by Macromedia. I’m an Onfolio user and, while it has a very functional RSS reader, where it really shines is in the filing and organization of Web content. I long ago gave up on trying to keep Web favorites/bookmarks organized and Onfolio is the best mechanism I’ve found. I’ll be interested to see how well Onfolio makes the transition, but it looks like Microsoft just landed with both feet on the RSS reader market.
Update: A partial retraction of the above. The announcement of the Windows Live Toolbar makes it seem that the RSS reader is going to be Web based and not a Windows client application like today’s Onfolio. This is going to require some clarification or hands-on testing to sort out, but not every application should be Web based. I guess I have a personal interest in Microsoft making the right choice in this case.
Update: He sighs with relief. Onfolio remains a standalone RSS reader accessed through a browser. Unfortunately, the requirement for the Windows Live Toolbar means that Firefox is no longer supported, and Windows Desktop Search is now used withing Onfolio instead of their own search, but other than that it seems much the same.