The newest version of FeedDemon is finally out of beta. FeedDemon 2.0 was released last week and is available for download from NewsGator.
Anyone who's been reading this blog or listening to me speak at user groups and conferences knows I've been a fan of FeedDemon ("Insanely Great Software: FeedDemon") and the other products developed by Nick Bradbury (TopStyle, also now from NewsGator, and HomeSite, now from Macromedia) for a long time. I had some initial concerns about the future of FeedDemon following NewsGator's acquisition of Bradbury Software back in May of 2005 ("Newsgator acquires FeedDemon"), but at least one of those concerns was soon alleviated when it was announced in July that FeedDemon would retain it's stand-alone capabilities and not require a NewsGator subscription ("NewsGator acquires FeedDemon Redux").
My other concerns were (a) how much involvement with and influence over FeedDemon would Nick Bradbury really continue to have, and (b) would NewsGator prove to be as responsive to the FeedDemon and TopStyle user community as Bradbury Software had always been. From what I've observed, the answers are: a lot, and yes.
During the FeedDemon 2.0 development cycle, NewsGator maintained a beta support forum. Those of us who were using the betas got a lot of releases to play with along the way, and needless to say the beta forum was very active. In spite of the daily flood of ideas (and sometimes complaints) flowing their way via the support forum, the company was very responsive to problem reports and suggestions. In particular, Jack Brewster of NewsGator technical support and Nick Bradbury himself deserve a lot of credit for their willingness to listen to and interact personally with the community.
FeedDemon 2.0 features a long list -- ten pages! -- of changes and improvements over the previous release version, v1.5. (Version 1.6 was around for a while but was never released other than as a Beta.) The most noticeable change in 2.0 is that feeds are organized and presented as nodes in a treeview, replacing the separate folders in a drop-down list used in previous versions. Also, synchronization of feeds with NewsGator Online is an option but is not required.
IMO FeedDemon 2.0 is a worthwhile upgrade for anyone still using 1.5 or 1.6, and continues to be an attractive choice for anyone who's looking for a good feed reader. There are still some things I'd like to see added or changed, but it's time to let Nick catch his breath and relax for a while. Meanwhile, FeedDemon 2.0 is ready to rock and roll, and the Technical Support forum and Feature Requests forum are up and active.
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