Yahoo Gets With a New Konfab -- Yahoo announced today that it has purchased Konfabulator, an application (for both Mac OS X and Windows) which enables users to run small custom applications - called Widgets - right on their desktop. (In case you're wondering, Konfabulator came substantially earlier than Apple's Dashboard and its widgets: see Adam's review back in TidBITS-717.) Konfabulator has inspired an enthusiastic developer community that created widgets to report on everything from traffic and mosquito conditions to metronomes and add-ons for Apple's iChat and iTunes. But not only is Yahoo buying Konfabulator, it's giving the program away for free! Anyone who purchased Konfabulator in the last two months will receive a refund.
Yahoo sees Konfabulator as a core technology behind the Yahoo Developer Network: Konfabulator - likely to be renamed Yahoo Widgets - will be a means by which Yahoo promotes its new XML-based content distribution schemes. By making Konfabulator free, Yahoo hopes developers will create Widgets for Mac and Windows that do all sorts of cool and useful things, many of which will be tied directly to Yahoo's online content offerings. Developers will appreciate not having to "scrape" Web sites to extract data for their Widgets; users will appreciate cool, new cross-platform tools; and Yahoo will see their content (and associated advertising efforts) reach new people in new ways. Konfabulator is now available as a free 5.2 MB download, and requires Mac OS X 10.2 or later. [GD]