Attensa 2.0 reads feeds and multimedia in Outlook, for free

Enterprise RSS and Attention company Attensa has released version 2.0 of their plug-in for Outlook and there are a number of notable changes that have been made. Most important, Attensa 2.0 is free. The company has moved to a strategy to sell customer support subscriptions and seed organizations with their product until a critical mass is met to offer their Enterprise Feed Server. I think that’s a very good idea.

The basic premise of Attensa is that it’s a feed reader that tracks users’ reading habits and adjusts its display to offer the most important feeds at the right time for each reader. The Feed Server product allows businesses to manage a large number of desktop clients with varying default feeds and permission levels behind a firewall.

Other changes that have been made in the 2.0 release include the ability to play audio and video files inside Outlook, a desktop toast alert tool for high priority items and a number of stability and deployment improvements.

Attensa has now rolled out its product in a number of high profile enterprise contexts and says that the 2.0 product is far more battle tested than previous releases. They’ve got quite a few interesting projects in the works that I hope I’ll be able to post on here at a later date.

The company has received $12 million in two rounds of funding, from Portland’s Smart Forrest Ventures and Cambridge, Mass. based RSS Investors. Their primary competitors in the enterprise RSS space are KnowNow, who specialize in transforming a wide variety of information into RSS format, and Newsgator, who have acquired some of the best desktop RSS readers on the market and focus on synching between multiple platforms. See also our recent reviews of Monitor110, a forthcoming web based reader for financial proffesionals; SystemOne, a wiki CMS that leverages RSS and semantic annalysis and TouchStone, a Windows desktop tool that utilizes RSS and attention data to offer multiple forms of prioritized alerts.