Dave Winer warns that syndication feed arguments may have the same result as cell phone content format arguments. Namely, a fractured market in which it isn’t worth anyone’s time to support multiple formats. That’s definitely one possibility. The other comparison I’d make is email protocols, though. SMTP is deeply insecure, and as a result spam now represents a sizable percentage of the world’s email. We’d have been much better off if we’d switched away from SMTP before it was too late.
Of course, both cautionary tales might be true. Or neither.