Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Annals of abandoned Windows desktop feed readers: Onfolio, Omea ...

Microsoft bought the superb Onfolio product a few years back, but they gave up on it in favor of the feed reader built into Outlook 2007 (miserable piece of ****) and the feed reader built into IE 7 (weak, but workable, heaven forfend don't sync it to Outlook's feed pool).

Alas, Onfolio has a .NET DLL-like conflict with Windows Live Writer (and you thought DLL-Hell was gone?). Since Onfolio is dead, and since I live by WLW (same team did Onfolio!), I again looked for a Windows feed reader I could use with our corporate sharepoint feeds.

I thought I'd give the once well regarded Omea Reader a try. It sure sounded a lot like Onfolio, and it didn't carry the baggage of Omeo Pro (which is far more than I want).

Omea Reader did a great job importing my Onfolio OPML file, including retaining the folder structure. I did run into a number of bugs and UI glitches though, so I figured I'd check on the development status.


This is what shows up in the Feeds view (the originating web site is now gone) from March 2008:

Dear JetBrains Omea Users,

We are pleased to finally come to you with these news.

We know that many of you were waiting for this to happen for so long, and we would like to thank you for your patience.

So, after several months of thorough work on polishing the software itself and its API, we are happily ready to announce the full availability of our "Omea" line of products in their open-source incarnation.

We hope that this step will allow us to rise the development of this great product to a new level and to attract energy and talents of everybody who likes to participate in this "adventure"...

By "adventure" they probably mean "hell-ride that nearly destroyed our company". Things were happier in 2005 ...

... In the February, 2005 issue of Home Computer Magazine (, Omea Reader was announced as their Five Star Pick for free RSS Readers. But you knew that already... isn't it nice to be proven right?...

I'll keep trying Omea, it seems more stable than Onfolio for the moment. I can't recommend a dead product to anyone else though.

I fear I'm the only one looking for a Windows feed reader, which makes me wonder if a very excellent technology isn't really going to make it this go-round ...

Update: When I do a Google search on "windows feed reader" I get exactly NO Adword advertisements. The moving finger of history has moved on.

1 comment:

Andrew W said...

Feedemon is still good - see The newsgator service also syncs with mac and iPhone clients (though I prefer their iPhone web app to the client unless I'm flying).