Yahoo! acquires Konfabulator

What will this mean for DesktopX?

Monday, July 25, 2005 by GreenReaper | Discussion: Windows Software

It's big news. Looks like Yahoo has decided to take a position in the widget market, and it's doing it in a big way, by giving away Konfabulator. No doubt they intend to use it as a tool to cement their web presence:

Yahoo is counting on the widgets to make users more curious about certain topics, services or events, ultimately driving more traffic to its Web site so it can serve up more moneymaking ads and expand its current base of 10.1 million subscribers who pay for premium services, Schneider said.

But what will this mean for DesktopX, and similar products? Heck, what will it mean for Konfabulator? This sort of change often means interesting goings-on in the near future . . . and for the long-term.

Of course, similar transactions have happened before. Some of you may remember eFX from a long, long time ago. It used to be a competitor to WindowBlinds, and was quite highly regarded at the time, but it never got beyond 0.40 because it was bought up by a company, and disappeared without trace after that. Then there was the story of the rise and slow decline of Winamp, bought by AOL. But perhaps it will be different this time.

Will Yahoo do any better with Konfabulator? Or will this be another example of a popular application bought by a huge corporation and then crushed by it? Can Arlo and his team keep cranking out the widgets? I guess we'll have to see . . .

At least now the picture on the front of the Konfabulator website makes sense.
Reply #1 Monday, July 25, 2005 12:48 AM
I bet you Yahoo screws up Konfabulator.
Reply #2 Monday, July 25, 2005 12:57 AM
You always provide such insightful commentary kona. Thanks
Reply #3 Monday, July 25, 2005 1:01 AM
I hear they're trying to buy IE.
Reply #4 Monday, July 25, 2005 1:45 AM
Sorry - I have a bad habit of being blunt and speaking my mind. Bichur - I don't think so.
Reply #5 Monday, July 25, 2005 1:58 AM
not even a twinge?

and you're probably right about them screwing it up - a KonfabulousYahooToolBar
Reply #6 Monday, July 25, 2005 4:11 AM
Damn it, I paid good money for Konfabulator

Yahoo messed up The All-Seeing Eye (Game server browser) when they purchased it, I really hope their curse misses Konfabulator.
Reply #7 Monday, July 25, 2005 9:14 AM
Well, you got what you paid for - if at the time you got a good deal, I guess you'll have to be happy with making the right decision at that time. It wasn't exactly an obvious turn of events, although in retrospect it does make sense for Konfabulator.
Reply #8 Monday, July 25, 2005 9:39 AM
Oh no, you've not lost your sense of sarcasm already have you?
Andrew Powell
Reply #9 Monday, July 25, 2005 9:44 AM

They will be issuing refunds (Yahoo! will be) to those who have purchased 2.0 or later (although I dont understand what the 'later' means in this context).

I'm sure more details will arise as time goes on as to exactly what will happen with Konfabulator. Arlo has a history of being insanely protective of his work (to the point of not letting people create fansites with his artwork) so I would be willing to speculate that one of the conditions of the purchase revolves around what exactly Yahoo! can do to the app; In terms of bundling their junky toolbar or other misc software, and bundling excessive amounts of Yahoo! related items with the installation in the future.

Reply #10 Monday, July 25, 2005 11:26 AM
If this becomes a big deal, will Google do the same but with a different product?

I think Yahoo is buying up companies so it can compete with Google's developer geeks who do it for fun; like those mash-ups with Google Maps and Criagslist.

Konfab might not go the way of WinAmp, though, because creating these widgets can be a big boon for Yahoo and they are probably going to want more. Not only with new ad revenue coming to their site, but designer widget for your desktop (like AOL does with WinAmp)

Personally, I think it would have been better to leave Konfab alone and just create a side partnership by creating widgets for Yahoo. The same can be done for DesktopX and DesktopX Pro (but on a much more detailed level)

joeKnowledge wonders of Frogboy marketing group has contacted Google?
Reply #11 Monday, July 25, 2005 11:31 AM

It make you wonder, since it took Konfab about 5 years to get to where it is, how long it takes to develope something that will be so cool later on.

I wonder what is being developed now that will be the thing that changes the web or whatever later?
Reply #12 Monday, July 25, 2005 12:17 PM
Good software takes ten years. WindowBlinds is getting close to that.
Reply #13 Monday, July 25, 2005 3:46 PM
Oh well, I think is kind of neat. Free. I checked out the widgets and a lot are very nice. I don't use any of these types of programs at the moment.
Reply #14 Monday, July 25, 2005 11:20 PM
I just took a look at the widgets and they seem cool. A lot of traffic cams, weather and RSS feed stuff. CPU and memoery too. There are some original ones like the Simpsons quote generator, a walking Filex the cat for your desktop, a Flikr upload widget, and a few widgets that interact with programs.

I'll admit, though, DX widgets are better for the most part, but not by much.
Reply #15 Tuesday, July 26, 2005 2:13 AM
It is good that Konfabulator is going for free. It will push DesktopX to work hard to show how better it is considering it is not free.

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