I just installed this nifty little tool called Konfabulator on my Windows XP machine and it rocks!
Mac users would be familiar with those widgets–small floating applets–that come with Mac OS X (starting with Tiger) that you can install and modify, and usually accessible with the F12 key.
What the heck are widgets? They’re basically mini-applications that run constantly in the background. ‘Net-connected widgets are ready to provide you with useful information, independent of a web-browser.
What makes it great? You can actually choose from and download among hundreds of widgets and run them on your desktop as independent applications with lives of their own. Some of them are useful, and many are not. But eye candy some widgets may be, it’s a welcome relief from the same old boring modern desktop interface.
It’s yet another taste of Mac on Windows. Rain wrote about Konfabulator as one of the hacks/mods that will make your Windows experience more Mac-like.
The default installation comes with an analog clock, a PIM overview applet (that queries either Outlook or iCalendar), a task list, and system and network monitors, among others. You can dock the applets on your desktop, or just make them float like normal windows. Or you can simply call up KonsposÃ©, the app’s equivalent of the Mac OS ExposÃ©, where all the active widgets are displayed onscreen on top of the regular windows for you to do your choosing.
Konfabulator is available for MacOS, too. The developers say they love the Mac platform so much that they envision everything to be cross platform. Some even prefer Konfabulator to OS X Tiger’s own widgets system.
As for the developer community, software creators will have yet another great platform to develop applets on (perhaps some malicious?). Konfabulator is open-source: anyone can author a widget on just about anything. And they can be assured of a cross-platform user base.
While Konfabulator used to be commercial (i.e., pay) software, Yahoo! just bought the company that made it and is now releasing the app for free. The developers even promised that they will never put up ads on Konfabulator itself. The business model? It will serve as a launch-pad for other services.
Try it out. It’s fun and useful.