Dennis posted a screencast and commentary about SAP’s widgets demo, which by the way is pretty damn cool when you see it in the greater context of what the company is doing with NetWeaver. Honest to god, if SAP could unleash the vast numbers of really smart people that they have building stuff like this the company would take on a whole new dimension.
A number of people I know are drooling over the fact SAP has got widgets as you can just about make out in my reduced size screen grab. More interesting to me is the fact that SAP has got them at all given its battle star size and (usually) treacle like decision making process time.
More to the point about widgets. I am a little curious to see that so much attention is being heaped on widgets when in fact they are neither technically challenging nor a business unto themselves. Newsweek is calling 2007 the “year of the widget” and the NYTimes ran a piece today with similarly fawning language (thanks to Mark for that link).
â€œYou start small, and itâ€™s kind of like an addiction,â€ said Pastor Hyatt (his blog is at bobhyatt.typepad.com). â€œTypePad has a whole section of widgets, and theyâ€™re adding more all the time,â€ he continued, referring to a popular blog-hosting service.
It’s also not lost on me that widget companies, which predominately appear to be repurposing portal technology into web 2.0 story, are looking at this pretty much in the context powering blogs, which I guess is not insignificant given the number of blogs and myspace pages in existence.
I was surprised to see one of the more coherent critiques of widgets come from, of all places, Valleywag. In reading through the post I think they pretty much nailed the 5 reasons why widgets will fail.
Having said all that, I do want to point out that Teqlo is built on a foundation that features at least a couple of blocks devoted to widgets. What we are doing is extending widget makers domain expertise by enabling communication between widgets, meaning that weather widget can pass data to your calender widget which can then adjust your driving route (that’s purely a hypothetical example). What I am suggesting is that the thing that is missing from widgets to power a true business model is the context by which they are applied to my user’s task orientation. A weather widget on it’s own it only interesting to the Weather Channel as a means of delivering their content, a weather widget in the context of the example I provided above is interesting to users because it enables a rich level of personalization and service.
BTW, I am well aware that the Teqlo website sucks, not only does it not give you any useful information but it’s more likely to confuse you! We are working on a new website that will not only take care of that issue but also strive to become resource center for this trend. We are targeting first half of Feb for go live on this, will keep you posted as we get closer.
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