Discourse: Best news reader for the Microsoft Surface RT

If you are looking for a great news reader (RSS, OPML) for the Microsoft Surface RT, this is it.  Reading news is important to me, so after I received my Microsoft Surface right after it was publicly available I took great pains to find the right news reader.  There are many news readers available in the Windows Store (believe me, I looked), but the one that would work for me had to possess specific capabilities.  Ease of updating, alerts, a live tile, sharing, and the ability to customize the reader to include my specific feeds was important.  Again, there are a lot of readers that do that, but the one key element I needed was to be able to import the OPML file from Microsoft Outlook.  Anyone that utilizes RSS feeds for news and updates has spent a good amount of time collecting just the right ones and having the ability to replicate your normal experience on a device is important.

Discourse is what I finally decided on, and except for a few bugs that were recently fixed with an update (a lot of you saw my rants on Twitter), my experience has been extraordinary.  Discourse provides all of the features I expected to find and then goes a bit further.  Not only does it come with some really good stock feeds for new (World News, Technology, Sci Tech, News Analysis, and Business), but it also allows you to develop new, automatically-created custom sections based on “searches” powered by Bing, Google, or Yahoo.

Discourse is a great way to start my day, sitting with a cup of coffee and sifting through the news of the morning.

Here’s the app:

Discourse app for Windows in the Windows Store

http://apps.microsoft.com/webpdp/app/fa918557-82a8-44fe-974d-a23e57763dbb

Learn more about Discourse by Kindred Intellect and download it from the Windows Store

Discourse isn’t free, but costs only $2.99.

Here’s the list of features from the Windows Store page:

* Discourse allows you to keep up with your favorite news sources in a clear, picture-rich, easy to read newspaper-like format.
* Read the full content of the majority articles right from within Discourse, even for custom feeds, and pages you Share into Discourse using the Share charm!
* Optimized for great execution on Surface & Windows RT machines
* Pin a live tile to your start screen for any section, including custom sections.
* Create your own ‘Sections’ of news, combining one or more of the large number of included feeds, a topic of interest, or by searching for/adding fully custom feeds of your own.
* Share your section definitions with others using the Share Charm
* ‘Topic Sections’ use keywords to maintain a set of up-to-date news articles about a particular topic. (Powered by Bing, Google and Yahoo)
* Import whole sections and individual feed subscriptions directly from Google Reader
* Import and Export your feeds (as OPML files) and section definitions (as SECTION files). You can also export and import from SkyDrive, just use the picker and choose SkyDrive.
* Once your sections are created, simply running Discourse will sync your news and you can then go offline if you wish.
* Search for articles across your sections using the “Search Charm”.
* You can also save pages to Discourse’s “Saved Stories” section so you can read them later, offline, at your leisure.

 

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