What more could browser makers have done to encourage RSS? Technophiles love it, but the mass market rejected it.
For all intents and purposes, Twitter is a simpler, more intuitive form of RSS for the layperson.
As long as tools like Google Reader exist for those of us who do use RSS, I'm not worried. And if Google kills Reader, it will probably usher in a new renaissance of feed readers that are currently non-existent because of Google's ads-funded largesse.
RSS is now too important to too many people to just die.
I mostly agree, but...
Browsers prominently featured RSS for many years, and the world at large ignored it. Heck, I'm one of those technophiles and I ignored it in the browser. Why? Because RSS should have been about convenience, but the browser implementations did not seem intuitive, and more importantly did not make it clear how it actually worked. All the techies I know who regularly consume content through RSS use a separate reader, and I suggest that's because browser RSS did not actually offer anything compelling (or even useful at all). I could be totally wrong about how useful browser RSS was, but then the problem is that even a moderately competent techie didn't see it and the buck still stops at the browser.
The irony is that I'm now using GoogleReader in a browser on my smartphone (Android) to read RSS feeds. I still have some feeds into my Thunderbird configuration, but mostly ignore them there.
I tried the Google RSS feed reader app (Android) and didn't like it. I have not tried other RSS apps, the web-based GoogleReader meets my needs (I have a personal policy to minimize the number of install apps).
I will be really bummed, though, to see it removed from Mail.app. The Mail client has been the perfect place for me personally because I use RSS as a way to receive notifications. I use it for everything from following twitter search feeds, to monitoring eBay auctions to our own internal error-logging system.
I think RSS suffers from lack of awareness to the average person. I've showed it to a number of people and many of them have gone on to become power RSS users. My wife uses it to monitor knitting sites and to watch for search terms to bring up results on craigslist. It's really fantastic when you know how to use it. But they had no idea what it was or how to use it before I mentioned it.
Having to write custom code for each service you're interested in sucks compared to adding some RSS endpoints into an array.
Personally, I think RSS died of natural causes; it was never a threat to any walled gardens.