Netvibes has been putting a lot of work into making their site even more appealing for users, and this new addition could give them a lot of attention. In the next few weeks they will be unleashing a Universal Widget API that will let you use Netvibe’s widgets almost anywhere, including in Windows Vista, Mac’s, Google, and Opera.
I am really excited for this being a Vista user myself. I’ll be able to take my favorite widgets from Netvibes and place them all over my desktop, therefore turning my desktop into my homepage. I don’t use the Vista Sidebar because I don’t like the cramped feel of the widgets (also known as gadgets), but I do place widgets on my desktop to make important information easily accessible such as the weather.
The selection of widgets for Vista right now isn’t bad, but the list of widgets for Netvibes users seem to be a lot more plentiful. Not only that, but this would make using Opera’s built-in widget engine even better. Opera was smart for adding widgets because of the extensibility, but it doesn’t seem like they offer the usefulness that they could. Being able to use some of the Netvibes modules would really make the Opera widgets great.
The Universal Widget API would also mean that you could add this to other personalized homepages such as Google’s. When I first read about this last week on Micro Persuasion I was waiting to see what it actually looked like. Then today TechCrunch posted some screenshots from the Future Web conference of a few examples of the widgets being used on a Mac and on Google’s Personalized Homepage:
Netvibes modules on a Mac:
Netvibes modules on Google’s Personalized Homepage:
Netvibes currently says that they have more than 10 million subscribers which is an astounding number. Many of those users will surely appreciate being able to use these widgets outside of the browser. I know that it would be awesome to use these in Vista, and who knows, it might actually push other companies to bring their online services outside of the browser. Hey Google…*hint hint*