Live from Widgets Live – Post 1: Cross-Platform Widgets?

Widgets Everywhere!

I am sitting at Widgets Live and the excitement is off the hook.

It is absolutely amazing how many different folks are represented here. Just to name a few Fox, Microsoft, Yahoo, Adobe, Feedburner, Meebo, Netvibes and more have made their way out here. Given that Om and crew only had a month to slap this bad-boy together I am beyond impressed with the turn-out. I am trying to snap shot some occasional cool stuff throughout the day. So, here goes…

If it was not readily apparent before, widgets are going cross-platform in a big way. Widgets that work on the web (DHTML, Flash) will inevitably run on the desktop over the next year, or so. Fox Interactive Media (FIM) labs debuted their platform on this front. With their platform, you can build Flash widgets that people can not only post to MySpace, but also move to the desktop if you download a desktop client app. Adobe discussed the Apollo project, which enables a similar world from a different angle. Apollo is a run-time engine that enables Flash/DHTML content to be rendered on the desktop. In other words, people can build platforms like SpringWidgets with the Apollo engine. And last, but not last, is the team from Microsoft Live. Those guys also are working towards a converged webtop and desktop with their Sidebar project.

So, if you thought widgets were going cross-platform before, now you know! Here are some links for you to check out below…

Adobe Apollo Run-Time
Microsoft Sidebar
The Springbox
Apple Webclip

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p.s. That picture is NOT from Widgets Live. Unfortunately, I don’t have a digital cam on me!

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  • Allan Wille

    We just got back from the show yesterday – and yes, considering it was put together last minute, it was excellent. We can’t wait until the next event (no doubt much will happen in between).

    Being cross-platform was definitely a major theme this year. But we wonder if being cross-device might be next year’s. That’s where we’re headed, anyway. Take your widgets with you!

  • Hooman Radfar

    Allan, I agree on all counts. Interesting issues that remain to be solved include:

    – Identity persistence
    – Configuration persistence
    – Interwidget communications

    Many of these issues have been solved on a desktop scenario. So it will be interesting to see how that knowledge seeps into the rest of the widget game.