Yahoo! Acquires Widget Company
A new version of the core product, made available on Monday, includes "Yahoo!-ized widgets" for finance, weather, search and photo sharing, according to a Yahoo! spokeswoman. The goal, she added, is to integrate a number of properties on the Yahoo! network into Konfabulator under a new platform known as Yahoo! Widgets, which will provide the company with a distribution platform beyond the Web browser by giving users ready desktop-access to stocks and TV schedules and such.
"Widgets aren't intended to be a replacement for Web pages," said Toni Schneider, vice president of the Yahoo! developer network. "They're just another really popular way to easily get users the data that is most important to them."
The move illustrates Yahoo!'s ongoing strategy to work closely with the developer community and early technology adopters as a way to keep talent and innovation fresh. Konfabulator has an involved and loyal developer community--with more than 1,000 third-party widgets and approximately 200,000 users, according to a Yahoo! spokeswoman. Other areas of Yahoo!'s growing network that have made use of this practice include RSS, Yahoo! Maps, Yahoo! Music, Flickr, and Yahoo! Search APIs.
Pixoria's small team of engineers--CEO Arlo Rose, Ed Voas, and Perry Clarke--have been brought into Yahoo!'s fold, and will now report directly to Schneider. Schneider himself came to Yahoo! in July 2004 when it acquired his mail client company, called Oddpost.
Apple Computer raised the widgets' profile when it made them a feature of its new Tiger operating system earlier this year.