Arrington, at TechCrunch, likes the MSFT gadgets the best

Arrington just posted his review of the Microsoft news today. He was most excited by the gadgets. That’s what gets me too!

A few weeks back I interviewed the team that was doing the gadgets. That really is a significant part of the Live announcement that was made today. Imagine tons of gadgets that do interesting things. You can put them on your desktop. Or on Live.com. Or on your sidebar.

62 thoughts on “Arrington, at TechCrunch, likes the MSFT gadgets the best

  1. I think the OSX dashboard widgets on your desktop thing looks a bit nicer. The whole portal gadget thing is so Yahoo circa 2001.

    Methinks that a certain scoble is jealously craving some of that unshared attention that Google is hoarding! 😉

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  2. I think the OSX dashboard widgets on your desktop thing looks a bit nicer. The whole portal gadget thing is so Yahoo circa 2001.

    Methinks that a certain scoble is jealously craving some of that unshared attention that Google is hoarding! 😉

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  3. Yeah, the gadget/widget path is well-worn. It’s going to be a tough sell to PC-based Konfabulator fans and it’s another thing for Apple folks to lord over Microsoft folks for doing it sooner (and, arguably, better).

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  4. Yeah, the gadget/widget path is well-worn. It’s going to be a tough sell to PC-based Konfabulator fans and it’s another thing for Apple folks to lord over Microsoft folks for doing it sooner (and, arguably, better).

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  5. “Imagine tons of gadgets that do interesting things. ”

    We’re forced to do a lot of “‘maginin'” with this significant new announcement, aren’t we? Even you are ‘magining it still…

    Why?

    Most of this is already available with better execution. Haven’t you softies gotten out of Redmond lately?

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  6. “Imagine tons of gadgets that do interesting things. ”

    We’re forced to do a lot of “‘maginin'” with this significant new announcement, aren’t we? Even you are ‘magining it still…

    Why?

    Most of this is already available with better execution. Haven’t you softies gotten out of Redmond lately?

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  7. Yeah, Tetra, Scoble’s gadgets are webbier!! And you need to have your web browser open! And you need IE!

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  8. Yeah, Tetra, Scoble’s gadgets are webbier!! And you need to have your web browser open! And you need IE!

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  9. I think the whole web gadgets thing might not be such a bust if they supported cool APIs like Dashboard’s canvas widget (available in Safari, Firefox 1.5 and possibly Opera too) and/or SVG (available in Firefox 1.5 as well). The square webby gadget is boring!

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  10. I think the whole web gadgets thing might not be such a bust if they supported cool APIs like Dashboard’s canvas widget (available in Safari, Firefox 1.5 and possibly Opera too) and/or SVG (available in Firefox 1.5 as well). The square webby gadget is boring!

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  11. Whoooooo, stupid web-portalish widgets, without even a memory-hog dekstop app like Yahoo or Stardock. Amateur Hour at the O’Microsoft Corral. Stop the world and watch it melt.

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  12. Whoooooo, stupid web-portalish widgets, without even a memory-hog dekstop app like Yahoo or Stardock. Amateur Hour at the O’Microsoft Corral. Stop the world and watch it melt.

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  13. Chris: hahaha… I like “amateur hour” phrase. The whole start.com thing reeks of alpha-quality, amateur coding. The guys at 37signals and 43things (can’t remember the numbers) are putting out stuff order of magnitude better than this!

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  14. Chris: hahaha… I like “amateur hour” phrase. The whole start.com thing reeks of alpha-quality, amateur coding. The guys at 37signals and 43things (can’t remember the numbers) are putting out stuff order of magnitude better than this!

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  15. I just checked out the site. I think the salesforce guys really are light years ahead!

    Why is Microsoft working on a portal when the pack leaders are off to bigger and better things? They missed the chance to scoop the world on AJAX mail (Oddpost whalloped them on that count) and came out with sloppy seconds.

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  16. I just checked out the site. I think the salesforce guys really are light years ahead!

    Why is Microsoft working on a portal when the pack leaders are off to bigger and better things? They missed the chance to scoop the world on AJAX mail (Oddpost whalloped them on that count) and came out with sloppy seconds.

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  17. I first saw this a couple of hours ago and quickly (very quickly) came to many of the same conclusions listed here. So portal-like, other Web2.0 folks are miles ahead, it ain’t no Dashboard/Konfabulator – but then I went for a coffee and for some reason ended up spending the better part of an hour exploring the live and widgets sites. I’m probably dead wrong, but I really do believe there is something very different about what Microsoft is trying to do. It may not have the initial wow factor that Dashboard or Ruby on Rails have enjoyed within the geek community – but from an end-user perspective this is revolutionary stuff that will have an impact on how average users perceive the web/Internet/desktop.

    Personally, if Microsoft is willing to open up and allow others to play in it’s sandbox (data in and out) then I’m really interested to see where this might be going.

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  18. I first saw this a couple of hours ago and quickly (very quickly) came to many of the same conclusions listed here. So portal-like, other Web2.0 folks are miles ahead, it ain’t no Dashboard/Konfabulator – but then I went for a coffee and for some reason ended up spending the better part of an hour exploring the live and widgets sites. I’m probably dead wrong, but I really do believe there is something very different about what Microsoft is trying to do. It may not have the initial wow factor that Dashboard or Ruby on Rails have enjoyed within the geek community – but from an end-user perspective this is revolutionary stuff that will have an impact on how average users perceive the web/Internet/desktop.

    Personally, if Microsoft is willing to open up and allow others to play in it’s sandbox (data in and out) then I’m really interested to see where this might be going.

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  19. “Personally, if Microsoft is willing to open up and allow others to play in it’s sandbox (data in and out) then I’m really interested to see where this might be going.”

    I agree, Bryan, but there is a big inherent ***IF*** based on history. Hopefully the leopard can change its spots.

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  20. “Personally, if Microsoft is willing to open up and allow others to play in it’s sandbox (data in and out) then I’m really interested to see where this might be going.”

    I agree, Bryan, but there is a big inherent ***IF*** based on history. Hopefully the leopard can change its spots.

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  21. “…but from an end-user perspective this is revolutionary stuff that will have an impact on how average users perceive the web/Internet/desktop.”

    I don’t mean to sound flippant, but I hear ‘stock phrases’ like this used and I really can’t make sense of it. What end-user perspective are you talking about? What’s the revolutionary aspect? How exactly does this impact the internet & desktop relationship beyond the current Web 2.0 and AJAX projects around the web?

    All I’m hearing now is “Gabbo is great! You won’t be able to live without it!” I’m genuinely interested that you feel so positively about this Live project and I’d appreciate it if you could convey why.

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  22. “…but from an end-user perspective this is revolutionary stuff that will have an impact on how average users perceive the web/Internet/desktop.”

    I don’t mean to sound flippant, but I hear ‘stock phrases’ like this used and I really can’t make sense of it. What end-user perspective are you talking about? What’s the revolutionary aspect? How exactly does this impact the internet & desktop relationship beyond the current Web 2.0 and AJAX projects around the web?

    All I’m hearing now is “Gabbo is great! You won’t be able to live without it!” I’m genuinely interested that you feel so positively about this Live project and I’d appreciate it if you could convey why.

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  23. Ah… yes, ‘revolutionary’ is definately a loaded word. I probably should have thought twice about that. However, I’m not entirely sure that I still wouldn’t have used it. Here’s why:

    1) the concept of user installable web applets (Gadgets) that allow users to customize and extend their ‘portal’ site is really interesting. Granted much of this has been done (poorly) in previous portals (Yahoo!) and some of this is being done well in many Web 2.0 apps (JotSpot, etc) but there’s something about being able to plug-in other Javascript/XML apps from other vendors/sites that I REALLY like.

    http://microsoftgadgets.com/blogs/gadgetnews/articles/377.aspx

    2) while the drag + drop, AJAX stuff has been done better (and x-platform from the beginning) in many Web 2.0 apps, having Microsoft adopt this way of working instead of forcing another ActiveX contrived, Windows only solution is definately a step in the right direction. Of course, they do have that awful sounding ‘WinFX everywhere presentation layer thing’ that I’m really not looking forward to however…

    3) a comment from Bill G that hopefully won’t be forgotten, “…but also that developers on other web platforms could as easily integrate data from Microsoft applications and services into their user experience.) Bill Gates replied with puzzlement, “Of course. There’s no difference between syndicating out and syndicating in. It’s just XML.”

    http://radar.oreilly.com/archives/2005/11/live_software.html

    As for the end-user perspective I’m talking about is that of everyday, normal people who just need to get things done. My mother-in-law who hates installing software, my best friend who can’t be bothered installing or upgrading anything (Skype, Firefox, etc.) and my wife who couldn’t care less about Web 2.0, AJAX or any other technology of the day.

    Lastly, regarding the impact on the internet + desktop, IMO the very fact that these ARE web apps from Microsoft is telling enough. I highly doubt that anybody couldn’t live without these offerings (or any current Web 2.0 app at the moment) – but as a sign of things to come I think having Microsoft engaged in the conversation is a big win for everybody.

    As I said, I’m probably dead wrong – but I’d love to be proven correct.

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  24. Ah… yes, ‘revolutionary’ is definately a loaded word. I probably should have thought twice about that. However, I’m not entirely sure that I still wouldn’t have used it. Here’s why:

    1) the concept of user installable web applets (Gadgets) that allow users to customize and extend their ‘portal’ site is really interesting. Granted much of this has been done (poorly) in previous portals (Yahoo!) and some of this is being done well in many Web 2.0 apps (JotSpot, etc) but there’s something about being able to plug-in other Javascript/XML apps from other vendors/sites that I REALLY like.

    http://microsoftgadgets.com/blogs/gadgetnews/articles/377.aspx

    2) while the drag + drop, AJAX stuff has been done better (and x-platform from the beginning) in many Web 2.0 apps, having Microsoft adopt this way of working instead of forcing another ActiveX contrived, Windows only solution is definately a step in the right direction. Of course, they do have that awful sounding ‘WinFX everywhere presentation layer thing’ that I’m really not looking forward to however…

    3) a comment from Bill G that hopefully won’t be forgotten, “…but also that developers on other web platforms could as easily integrate data from Microsoft applications and services into their user experience.) Bill Gates replied with puzzlement, “Of course. There’s no difference between syndicating out and syndicating in. It’s just XML.”

    http://radar.oreilly.com/archives/2005/11/live_software.html

    As for the end-user perspective I’m talking about is that of everyday, normal people who just need to get things done. My mother-in-law who hates installing software, my best friend who can’t be bothered installing or upgrading anything (Skype, Firefox, etc.) and my wife who couldn’t care less about Web 2.0, AJAX or any other technology of the day.

    Lastly, regarding the impact on the internet + desktop, IMO the very fact that these ARE web apps from Microsoft is telling enough. I highly doubt that anybody couldn’t live without these offerings (or any current Web 2.0 app at the moment) – but as a sign of things to come I think having Microsoft engaged in the conversation is a big win for everybody.

    As I said, I’m probably dead wrong – but I’d love to be proven correct.

    Like

  25. My conclusion is:

    New catagory, it isn’t a web app, it isn’t a desktop app. It is a service, one that brings these two seperate, current, ideas together allowing for more free form user interaction. In essence letting the user have a more fluid experiance.

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  26. My conclusion is:

    New catagory, it isn’t a web app, it isn’t a desktop app. It is a service, one that brings these two seperate, current, ideas together allowing for more free form user interaction. In essence letting the user have a more fluid experiance.

    Like

  27. This stuff is really going to make Orbitz, Continental.com, Citibank, ml.com, NY Times, Amazon.com, webex, salesforce.com, My Yahoo, Flickr, and Google that much better? How again?

    When I’m on Windows and IE (the walled garden) working on these web sites, it’s a race with fate that something doesn’t tick off IE to the point of locking up Windows Explorer and all IE sessions at the same time. Why would I want to complicate things and increase risk by sticking in my own dancing baloney?

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  28. This stuff is really going to make Orbitz, Continental.com, Citibank, ml.com, NY Times, Amazon.com, webex, salesforce.com, My Yahoo, Flickr, and Google that much better? How again?

    When I’m on Windows and IE (the walled garden) working on these web sites, it’s a race with fate that something doesn’t tick off IE to the point of locking up Windows Explorer and all IE sessions at the same time. Why would I want to complicate things and increase risk by sticking in my own dancing baloney?

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  29. “… it isn’t a web app, it isn’t a desktop app…”

    Yep. But the extremely poor demo left most people saying only this:

    “It ain’t no app at all yet.”

    The best term for what was shown? Vaporware. Could bbe that it will be something someday, but not today.

    Extremely poor job communicating your message Microsoft. Extremely poor.

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  30. “… it isn’t a web app, it isn’t a desktop app…”

    Yep. But the extremely poor demo left most people saying only this:

    “It ain’t no app at all yet.”

    The best term for what was shown? Vaporware. Could bbe that it will be something someday, but not today.

    Extremely poor job communicating your message Microsoft. Extremely poor.

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  31. A good read…

    Software vision ain’t what it used to be at Microsoft

    Live software is pure Web 2.0 pop culture. It’s based on a well-established “service in the cloud” architecture that fuses – and confuses – things already in the market – from IM, social networking, downloadable music services and blogs to hosted email, business intelligence and customer relationship management (CRM) services.

    http://www.channelregister.co.uk/2005/11/02/software_live_microsoft/

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  32. A good read…

    Software vision ain’t what it used to be at Microsoft

    Live software is pure Web 2.0 pop culture. It’s based on a well-established “service in the cloud” architecture that fuses – and confuses – things already in the market – from IM, social networking, downloadable music services and blogs to hosted email, business intelligence and customer relationship management (CRM) services.

    http://www.channelregister.co.uk/2005/11/02/software_live_microsoft/

    Like

  33. Now .. if they (amazon, ebay, google, yahoo, MS, etc) all got together and agreed to merge their identifiers. I hate having to log in to all of these. Make it really about innovation and not about who can grab my attention and my data and lock me into their services.

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  34. Now .. if they (amazon, ebay, google, yahoo, MS, etc) all got together and agreed to merge their identifiers. I hate having to log in to all of these. Make it really about innovation and not about who can grab my attention and my data and lock me into their services.

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  35. If live.com can start putting out some useful gadgets that are more like sharepoint, then it will be benificial. Otherwise, nobody really cares how colourful the weather gadget is.

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  36. If live.com can start putting out some useful gadgets that are more like sharepoint, then it will be benificial. Otherwise, nobody really cares how colourful the weather gadget is.

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  37. Pedro – I hear you. Fortunately my browser and Keychain do a good job at managing some of that complexity.

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  38. Pedro – I hear you. Fortunately my browser and Keychain do a good job at managing some of that complexity.

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  39. Dave – are you saying that the only platform that this stuff runs on is Powerpoint?

    Vaporware? Overhang? Trial balloon? What is this software?

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  40. Dave – are you saying that the only platform that this stuff runs on is Powerpoint?

    Vaporware? Overhang? Trial balloon? What is this software?

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  41. Comments from ‘detractors’ like Goebbels and Coulter make me suspicious that this whole comments section is liberally peppered with fake contributions.

    Have you noticed how their criticisms are so ‘conveniently grist to Scoble’s mill’ (in helping him beat up MS over things he wants to change)?

    You’ve got to admire their true author’s ingenuity, because nobody reading them would ever say “wow! that is exactly the way would Scoble would write it”, because of their ‘scathing’ personal criticism of Scoble himself.

    But when you read their messages, it becomes clear that this is the writing of professionals, so it becomes rather suspicious that they seem to have sufficient time available for reading Scoble’s every word and also for being amongst the first to respond.

    Or do you think that Coulter and Goebbels’ comments are too bitter and ‘near the mark’ to be anything but what they seem?

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  42. Comments from ‘detractors’ like Goebbels and Coulter make me suspicious that this whole comments section is liberally peppered with fake contributions.

    Have you noticed how their criticisms are so ‘conveniently grist to Scoble’s mill’ (in helping him beat up MS over things he wants to change)?

    You’ve got to admire their true author’s ingenuity, because nobody reading them would ever say “wow! that is exactly the way would Scoble would write it”, because of their ‘scathing’ personal criticism of Scoble himself.

    But when you read their messages, it becomes clear that this is the writing of professionals, so it becomes rather suspicious that they seem to have sufficient time available for reading Scoble’s every word and also for being amongst the first to respond.

    Or do you think that Coulter and Goebbels’ comments are too bitter and ‘near the mark’ to be anything but what they seem?

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  43. Ricky..I agree blog entry comments which are not written in casual mood are always with some ulterior motive..but nice things about blogs is you can quickly scroll down immediately you see someone putting “extra effort” because then they are not really in the main discussion..

    Anyway..i think it was “start” now it is “live” and soon it will become “archive”

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  44. Ricky..I agree blog entry comments which are not written in casual mood are always with some ulterior motive..but nice things about blogs is you can quickly scroll down immediately you see someone putting “extra effort” because then they are not really in the main discussion..

    Anyway..i think it was “start” now it is “live” and soon it will become “archive”

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  45. “Dave – are you saying that the only platform that this stuff runs on is Powerpoint?”

    Well, if I have to explain the shortcomings of how this “major” public unveiling of (a) a confusing product line that (b) runs only on MSIE while (c) not doing anything new and (d) has as it’s biggest feature a signup list for (e) that unknown day in the future it will actually be something concrete….

    Reread my comments – in this post and others.

    (1) The only tangible(?) outcome from PDC ’03 was hype. Those fabled pillars? Some are finally in beta of one form or another – 18 months after the fact.

    (2) Whidbey was 12 months late in release. Yukon just about the same. Longhorn/Vista… 18 months and counting, with nearly a complete overhaul of features.

    (3) With the exception of XBox, Microsoft has been very underwhelming with true product releases since 2001. Too bad they overcompensated for that with overblown hype.

    (4) Two quotes from Robert:

    “Alfredo: because the developers are working to get things done very quickly and are then going to work on making it work with other browsers.”

    “Scott Hanselman, one of our best customers, is confused by Windows Live.”

    Along with one from a commentor:

    “And someone tell Matt that a splash screen is NOT having it ‘out there in the world for real.'”

    Along with what this, um, software itself says if you try to view it in anything but MSIE….

    To answer your question Jake, no – it also does, well, something in MSIE too. But it doesn’t do much, and it does even less in any other browser.

    Now, reread my full comment you quoted…. I’m not slamming the concept. Just the product as it is today – something that NEVER should have been shown off.

    Again, why the rush? Their stagnent stock price? Sleight-of-hand to distract people from yet another Vista delay? I have no clue, but I do know a disaster of a demo when I see one. A muddled message when I hear one.

    And this was certainly that.

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  46. “Dave – are you saying that the only platform that this stuff runs on is Powerpoint?”

    Well, if I have to explain the shortcomings of how this “major” public unveiling of (a) a confusing product line that (b) runs only on MSIE while (c) not doing anything new and (d) has as it’s biggest feature a signup list for (e) that unknown day in the future it will actually be something concrete….

    Reread my comments – in this post and others.

    (1) The only tangible(?) outcome from PDC ’03 was hype. Those fabled pillars? Some are finally in beta of one form or another – 18 months after the fact.

    (2) Whidbey was 12 months late in release. Yukon just about the same. Longhorn/Vista… 18 months and counting, with nearly a complete overhaul of features.

    (3) With the exception of XBox, Microsoft has been very underwhelming with true product releases since 2001. Too bad they overcompensated for that with overblown hype.

    (4) Two quotes from Robert:

    “Alfredo: because the developers are working to get things done very quickly and are then going to work on making it work with other browsers.”

    “Scott Hanselman, one of our best customers, is confused by Windows Live.”

    Along with one from a commentor:

    “And someone tell Matt that a splash screen is NOT having it ‘out there in the world for real.'”

    Along with what this, um, software itself says if you try to view it in anything but MSIE….

    To answer your question Jake, no – it also does, well, something in MSIE too. But it doesn’t do much, and it does even less in any other browser.

    Now, reread my full comment you quoted…. I’m not slamming the concept. Just the product as it is today – something that NEVER should have been shown off.

    Again, why the rush? Their stagnent stock price? Sleight-of-hand to distract people from yet another Vista delay? I have no clue, but I do know a disaster of a demo when I see one. A muddled message when I hear one.

    And this was certainly that.

    Like

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