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July 25, 2005

Konfabulator Kraziness

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Yahoo has added another one of my favorite sites to their service - first Flickr, now they have announced the acquisition of Konfabulator. And best of all - it's now FREE!

Konfabulator is a Windows/Mac tool to allow users to run small mini-apps (called Widgets). The company was created by former Apple employee Arlo Rose, and preceeded the Tiger Dashboard by several years. It remains my favorite over Dashboard - as it has a simply amazing catalog of user-created widgets, and best of all the apps remain on-screen at all times, easily accessible from a menubar icon or expose-like function key reveal feature.

Frankly, I keep one of my two office monitors cluttered with widgets. I've got several webcams on there, rotating through radar images, a local Atlanta TV station towercam (all via the WebImages widget). I have Hong Kong, San Fran, Denver, Atlanta and London wall clocks (WorldClockPro). I also have a minicalendar, a couple of spiffy uptime/cpu usage monitors, a weather warning widget, and a great widget called the iTunes Companion. If I play a song w/out album art, it fetches it and installs it in the MP3. Sweet!

I had paid for Konfabulator (it used to be a nag-ware product) for the Mac a couple of years back. When the PC version came out, I was bummed to discover that my existing SN wouldn't work on the new version - I'd have to pony up cash for the PC independent of the Mac. This past weekend, I was actually considering a purchase for the PC - but Y! made that decision a bit simpler.

Anyway, it's great news that Yahoo has seen this as a product to spread via their considerable market reach. The PR indicates that they saw value in using Konfabulator as a means to extend access to Yahoo's APIs. Seems like another in a series of major portals buying a pay service and setting it free. Google's Maps/Earth (Keyhole) and Picasa are just two examples...

Links:
Konfabulator's letter to the community
Slashdot reports on the purchase
Om Malik breaks the news about Pixoria's buyout
PaidContent.org
on the new business model

Posted by jetrotz at July 25, 2005 07:30 AM

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