It looks like Microsoft sees the value in widgets much like those introduced with the iPhone. Just today, Microsoft announced their backing of a company called ZenZui who is looking to change the way you navigate the web on your mobile device with their “zooming” mobile browser.
Microsoft is licensing their “zooming user interface” to ZenZui– an independent company.It’s a different, unique way to navigate important information on your mobile device through the use of “tiles” or widgets that users would be able to subscribe to. Each of the widgets or tiles would be placed in rows and columns across the screen, and then users would be able to zoom in to view just one widget.
When the browser is released to an invite-only beta in the Summer, the widgets will work only on Windows Mobile devices, but the plan is that they’ll be expanding to Java and Brew phones.
They’ve been able to get several partners on board to fill the tiles like Kayak, Razorfish, and Traffic.com Inc. ZenZui will be monetizing the service and then splitting the revenue with the widget developers.
ZenZui isn’t the first company to design a widget platform for mobile devices, and you can probably expect that many more will be peeking out soon. If the widgets they offer are worth it, I think ZenZui could do well. If not, it could end up being clutter that people would rather do without. Will these tiles pave the way for wireless Web?