Dave asks for more details about the Microsoft.com Web Services release I discussed earlier. I can’t really give too many more details other than what’s in the MSDN announcement linked above, but the key is in the name, Microsoft.com Web Services (which I’ve corrected in my post
This is a web service layer on Microsoft.com, which is intended, as the release says, to “enable you to integrate information and services from MSDN, Technet, other Microsoft.com sites, and Microsoft Support.” Version 1.0, which is a proof of concept and shakedown for the infrastructure, provides an API via SOAP that allows accessing a designated set of Microsoft.com content, the Top Downloads on the site. Future releases, the release indicates, will allow you to access other Microsoft.com content, including presumably info from Support, MSDN, and Technet.
“Sounds like RSS—so why isn’t it RSS?” you cry. Good question. I’ll see if I can find out. But the key point is that this is kind of analogous to the Amazon SOAP API or the Google API: a way to programmatically access certain content on Microsoft.com. Potentially this could be of interest to Microsoft’s partners and content providers in the Microsoft community, who might want to selectively expose some of Microsoft.com’s content without having to send their users blindly to us.
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