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October 4, 2006, 3:17 am
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Google offers mini-programs for use on other sites
Tue Oct 3, 2006 10:01 PM EDT
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Yahoo, through its acquisition of the Silicon Valley start-up
Konfabulator last year, boasts more than 3,244 Widgets, or mini
programs, that range from Web search tools to games, news feeds and
But users must install and run an 11-megabyte program on a PC for such
programs to work on Windows-based computers
(http://widgets.yahoo.com /). Similarly, Apple Computer and Microsoft
offer hundreds of such programs to Web users.
While Google has jumped out ahead of rivals, Microsoft, Yahoo and
others are likely to make their own collections of mini-applications
ready to run on other Web sites, Li said.
Before these mini-Web based applications can go mainstream, however,
Google and the others will have to do away with the need to "cut and
paste" code and make it possible to install such programs on Web sites
in a few clicks, she said.
Eventually, Web users can look forward to a time when they combine such
mini-applications from Google, Yahoo, Microsoft or others to create
hybrid applications, known as mashups.
Start-ups like Widgetbox (http://www.widgetbox.com /) are pointing the
way by offering a marketplace of different mini-applets for users to
add to sites, while Ning (http://www.ning.com /), a company begun by
Netscape co-founder Marc Andreesen, offers a simple way for users to
create whole sites out of such Web-based applications, Li said.
"We are not ready at this point to discuss that," Google's Sah said.
"Gadgets and Widgets are all moving very quickly."
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