Desktops again

sidebar_hp.gifI write about intrastructure below, to refer to emerging ways of tying together data and applications in simple ways. RSS is an example, and we have seen a growth in the use of FireFox extensions, toolbars, and so on. I wrote:

There is a danger that the desktop will become too crowded, and difficult, for the non-initiate user to manage. This suggests that it would be useful to have a local integrative environment where services can be assembled and articulated easily, a dashboard or portfolio of some sort. FireFox extensions are a step in this direction, but FireFox is not a pervasive use environment. Maybe this will be the next big thing from Google? [Lorcan Dempsey’s weblog: Stitching services into user environments – intrastructure]

In this context I was interested to see the news this morning about Google Desktop 2, which provides a set of tools to the desktop. They have announced a Google Desktop SDK – and it will be interesting to see what sort of takeup there is. Clearly, there is considerable incentive here as this signals a clear move into the browser and onto the desktop by Google.
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One thought on “Desktops again”

  1. Perhaps equally interesting are the different types of approaches to intrastructure. Google’s is the “dashboard” – a single sidebar with multiple connected pieces. Yahoo, on the other hand, decided to pursue the “widget” approach – multiple mini-applications that can be placed independently of one another around one’s desktop. There are good arguments for either of the two – some of which are a matter of personal preference – but in the end, as always, whoever can provide the best/most useful functionality will win out in the upcoming “war” over the desktop mindshare market. [Sorry about the munged URL; the spam filter didn’t like the Blogger URL]

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