Yahoo is venturing into new territory after acquiring the tiny yet influential software company Pixoria last week. The company makes small desktop applications that allow someone to look at local weather, stock quotes and more without opening a Web browser.
The deal gives Yahoo unlimited access to the companys Konfabulator “widget” software, which first entered the public light after it became available for download on Mac computers in 2002. The apps went over so well that Apple included similar functionality in the Macintosh OS X 10.4 “Tiger” desktop app called Dashboard.
Later on, Pixoria released a version of Konfabulator that works for computers running the Windows XP operating system.
For Yahoo, a company spokesperson said the deal will bring a new way to offer users additional content.
“[Yahoo] considers this another way to promote the next generation of the Internet,” the spokesperson said. “One thats not reliant on browsers.”
In a statement on the Web site, Konfabulator creators Arlo Rose, Ed Voas and Perry Clarke said they are “excited” about the new deal and joked that they are looking forward to the free espresso offered on the Yahoo campus.
The statement also said the creators are looking forward to moving their apps into more of a “cool big picture” created in conjunction with Yahoo.
“Whats really great is that theyre starting to open it up to everyone in a format thats useable outside the traditional browser, as XML feeds,” the statement said. “So really, depending on how you look at it, were taking over Yahoo! Were going to make it so the best way to access their data is via slick little widgets.”