Microsoft is really trying to show off what Vista is capable of doing graphically by creating their own application that uses the Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF). The program that they have created is a 3D way for you to view your RSS feeds and is called UniveRSS (took me a minute but then I realized the name is like “universe”). Here is a brief overview of how the feed reader works:

It introduces a full-screen 3D universe where galaxies represent the folders of your RSS feed directory, and the stars are represented by the spinning cubes that hold the feed information. Size and position of the feed cubes indicate how many unread items they contain.

You navigate through the feed galaxies in a game-like environment, freely moving in all three dimensions. Selecting items in lists will turn the cube to the next side displaying the item’s content including images. Just click the right mouse buttons and you turn back to the list view or to the galaxy.

UniveRSS is a showcase application that demonstrates the use of several WPF features, 3D animations, data binding, and data visualization. Currently UniveRSS uses the RSS Feed Store managed through Internet Explorer 7. Later versions will allow you to manage the Feed Store from within the UniveRSS application.

Two things came to my mind when I saw this and the first thing was the system requirements. I looked and it requires Vista running with a compatible WDDM graphics driver which means it won’t work on my laptop (but should do fine on my desktop). The second thing that popped into my head was how useful this would really be. Sure it looks cool but there is no way that I could navigate through my 1,000’s of feed posts that I receive every hour by shuffling through cubes. This is obviously meant for the casual RSS subscriber.

Not only that but if you want to use UniveRSS you’ll need to have your feeds stored in Internet Explorer 7. That was the “nail in the coffin” for me not installing the program. They mentioned that future versions will have its own storage system but for right now you’ll have to use IE 7.

So I haven’t tried this myself so I don’t know what the graphics are really like but I can’t imagine that is anything so great that it should require users to have Vista installed with a WDDM driver. In the coming months we may see a knock-off version of this written in OpenGL or something along those lines that works with more than just Windows Vista. ;)

Download UniveRSS

News Source: Neowin