Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Konfabulator is Konfabulous

How's that for a lame title?

Anyway, big news yesterday in Yahoo! buying Konfabulator. Konfabulator is this nifty little dashboard tool where you can install little dynamic javascript widgets onto your desktop.

The recent rev of Mac OS X built Konfabulator-type functionality directly into the OS. Thankfully, the Konfabulator folk released a Windows version to supplement their existing Mac version. Then Yahoo! bought them and made it free.

As free products go, this is pretty amazingly cool. I've set mine up to emulate the dashboard feature of OS X, using the Konspose option of the Konfabulator. I hit F8 and get to see a nifty dashboard with a calendar, a rotating picture, some traffic, and some weather. I really want a traffic widget like the one Yahoo! built for the Mac dashboard. If I get bored (and it's not 100 degrees in my home office) I might try to build it myself.

It's pretty cool that companies like Yahoo! and Google are buying up these little apps like Konfabulator and Picasa and then just releasing them into the wild for free. I assume they'll have some sort of advertising model coming, but maybe the plan is just to try to achieve some brand lock-in, bringing folks over to their search engine, where they can rake in the advertising dollars. In any event, it works out pretty well for the user, getting all sorts of nifty tools for free.

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