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WebSite, Design and Web Hosting News - Yahoo Buys Pixoria, Launches Widget Service
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Yahoo Buys Pixoria, Launches Widget Service

2005-07-25 09:47:00

Yahoo Inc. on Monday launched a website that offers consumers mini desktop applications for accessing weather, stock prices and other data available on the portal's network.

The small applications, called "widgets," are based on technology that Yahoo acquired in the purchase last week of Pixoria, a privately held Palo Alto, Calif., company that offers development tools for building widgets and also hosts a gallery of third-party applications for download.

Yahoo, based in Sunnyvale, Calif., announced the acquisition Monday. Financial details were not disclosed.

Pixoria's technology platform, called Konfabulator is a runtime engine for JavaScript applications. Until the acquisition, developers licensed the platform for $20. Konfabulator is now available for free, and developers who paid for version 2.0 can receive a refund, Arlo Rose, chief executive of Pixoria, said.

Yahoo's new service, called Yahoo Widgets, offers desktop applications built on Konfabulator that can access Yahoo stock and weather information and personal photos stored in the Flickr photo-sharing service. A link called Widget Gallery takes users to the Konfabulator website, which contains more than 1,000 third-party widgets.

Yahoo also has added the Konfabulator technology platform, documentation and tutorial to its developer network, hoping that the offering will encourage more developers to build applications that access Yahoo data through the network's available application programming interfaces, or APIs. The data feeds are based on extensible markup language, or XML.

"This is a way to reach a huge community of developers," Toni Schneider, vice president of Yahoo Developer Network, said of the Pixoria acquisition.

Widgets accessing Yahoo data will include a centralized login system, so subscribers can use their normal user ID and password, Rose said.

For the foreseeable future, Konfabulator will continue to operate as a separate website.

"That will definitely change over time, but for the time being, it's going to stay that way," Rose said.

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