Abilon is my choice for RSS novices

I spent most of Monday playing with different RSS readers. As mentioned here earlier, I was looking for a freeware tool suitable for absolute novices. In the end, the winner was a tool I used myself in years gone by.
Abilon has a lot going for it. It has the standard Outlook-style three-panel presentation, with the nice extra option of three vertical panels. Even better for me, it has a ‘newspaper’ view which presents all feed items on a single scrolling page – more familiar to web-literate novices. It has pop-up alerts in the bottom right corner of the screen. It has some nice advanced functionality, like a blogging tool and feed ‘filters’.
It’s only a few hundred K to download, and as PortableFreeware.com points out, it doesn’t actually need to be installed in the C:Program Files folder, nor does it store its settings in the user profile. So you can install it in its own folder, and then copy that folder from PC to PC. In other words, a customised installation. Perfect.
So where’s the catch? For no obvious reason, the product’s owners seem to have disappeared. Abilon.org is now a ‘free parking’ page. The original domain, activerefresh.com has disappeared completely. If Abilon has been abandoned by its creator, it’s a real shame. It’s by far the neatest RSS package I could find. You can still download it from PCWorld.com, but naturally, there’s a caveat.

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