Microsoft releases neat mashup tool

Microsoft has just released “Popfly.” This tool, and community, lets you build a TwitterVision in literally a few minutes (mashup various stuff from various Web services like Twitter, Flickr, Virtual Earth, etc). When I first saw this demoed a few months ago the Microsoftie who showed it to me literally built TwitterVision in two minutes right in front of me without writing code. TwitterVision’s inventor told me he took four hours to do the same thing. Lets someone who isn’t a coder (like me) mashup various Web services easily and quickly. This is a “small” thing from Microsoft. It isn’t going to get professional developers hot and bothered (at least I don’t think) but it is another piece of a Web strategy. If Microsoft released 10 small things like this then we’d start thinking that they “get” the Web again. What do you think?

Oh, and don’t think it’s just for TwitterVision clones, either. It’ll be interesting to see what people do with this. Start with the Overview page to see what it does.

This was the “small” thing I expected Microsoft to release at Mix.

60 thoughts on “Microsoft releases neat mashup tool

  1. @18 Pepper:

    Been away for a couple of days, but for the record:

    I signed up for a Hotmail ID as soon as they announced the new interface and increased storage (ditto for Yahoo). I already had a Gmail account, but, well they were the first to come out with such a thing. At the time, I *certainly* could have been talked into using Hotmail or Yahoo as my primary e-mail since I had been using POP based e-mail for so long the whole idea of switching to web-based mail was still something I had to get used to. I did *in fact* report problems with Hotmail which were addressed, and I think I got a little thank-you note in there somewhere.

    I was once *at least* as much a supporter of Microsoft as I am any company now. I have no *reason* to hate Microsoft other than for what they do, have done, or attempt to do to users. Like my old friend the drunk, who I had to wash my hands of because it was clear he was never going to stop getting shit-faced, in spite of the damage it did to his family and friends (not to mention himself), Microsoft is in serious need of some sort of “intervention” either from within or from without.

    I have little doubt that such an intervention will happen. The only question is whether it will be sooner or later, whether it will be the government, some other company, or a fed-up user base.

    Funny, I didn’t see anything in Robert’s original post about it being Alpha, or even a test. No, I shouldn’t be one of 2000, nor would I want to be. I just wanted to see what the bloody hype was all about, and, as II am involved with steering small companies to new products, maybe this could have been one of them. Sorry for my interest. But don’t worry, apathy toward Microsoft’s new web initiatives is setting in real fast. With friends (or employees) like you Pepper, MS doesn’t need enemies. Response from #16 was much more appropriate, and appreciated.

  2. @18 Pepper:

    Been away for a couple of days, but for the record:

    I signed up for a Hotmail ID as soon as they announced the new interface and increased storage (ditto for Yahoo). I already had a Gmail account, but, well they were the first to come out with such a thing. At the time, I *certainly* could have been talked into using Hotmail or Yahoo as my primary e-mail since I had been using POP based e-mail for so long the whole idea of switching to web-based mail was still something I had to get used to. I did *in fact* report problems with Hotmail which were addressed, and I think I got a little thank-you note in there somewhere.

    I was once *at least* as much a supporter of Microsoft as I am any company now. I have no *reason* to hate Microsoft other than for what they do, have done, or attempt to do to users. Like my old friend the drunk, who I had to wash my hands of because it was clear he was never going to stop getting shit-faced, in spite of the damage it did to his family and friends (not to mention himself), Microsoft is in serious need of some sort of “intervention” either from within or from without.

    I have little doubt that such an intervention will happen. The only question is whether it will be sooner or later, whether it will be the government, some other company, or a fed-up user base.

    Funny, I didn’t see anything in Robert’s original post about it being Alpha, or even a test. No, I shouldn’t be one of 2000, nor would I want to be. I just wanted to see what the bloody hype was all about, and, as II am involved with steering small companies to new products, maybe this could have been one of them. Sorry for my interest. But don’t worry, apathy toward Microsoft’s new web initiatives is setting in real fast. With friends (or employees) like you Pepper, MS doesn’t need enemies. Response from #16 was much more appropriate, and appreciated.

  3. @30

    “you’re not a somebody, you’re a nobody.”

    If it weren’t for NDAs I would be a somebody. I can’t do anything about that.

    Everything Microsoft usually does corners you to use their OS or Visual Studio, as opposed to Google’s frameworks and other code frameworks. This is no different really, but at least it can write out the JS and code behind, instead of doing it all via silverlight.

    Not that much better, but somewhat.

    I’d like to justify my somebodyness, but due to legal concerns I can’t. And I will probably never be able to.

  4. @30

    “you’re not a somebody, you’re a nobody.”

    If it weren’t for NDAs I would be a somebody. I can’t do anything about that.

    Everything Microsoft usually does corners you to use their OS or Visual Studio, as opposed to Google’s frameworks and other code frameworks. This is no different really, but at least it can write out the JS and code behind, instead of doing it all via silverlight.

    Not that much better, but somewhat.

    I’d like to justify my somebodyness, but due to legal concerns I can’t. And I will probably never be able to.

  5. Chrissie boy, you really are something else.

    “I’m actually going to hold off on blasting this until I try it”
    - says it all really. you think your narrow mindedness means you have a valid point every time you bash something. well in the real world, people have more credibility if they actually know what they are talking about, ideally from experience

    “I think it would be nice to have some insight from somebody impartial”
    - yeah, and you’re appointing yourself as that somebody? sheesh. I’m surprised you can even spell the word impartial. you’re not a somebody, you’re a nobody.

  6. Chrissie boy, you really are something else.

    “I’m actually going to hold off on blasting this until I try it”
    - says it all really. you think your narrow mindedness means you have a valid point every time you bash something. well in the real world, people have more credibility if they actually know what they are talking about, ideally from experience

    “I think it would be nice to have some insight from somebody impartial”
    - yeah, and you’re appointing yourself as that somebody? sheesh. I’m surprised you can even spell the word impartial. you’re not a somebody, you’re a nobody.

  7. I think that projects like these will actually warm up the opinion of microsoft; i think silverlight will do the same. Although silverlight did create a bad first impression, not working in firefox and all when i tried it – but the intentions are on target.

  8. I think that projects like these will actually warm up the opinion of microsoft; i think silverlight will do the same. Although silverlight did create a bad first impression, not working in firefox and all when i tried it – but the intentions are on target.

  9. “In short, Popfly enables you to build both rich AJAX or Silverlight applications.”

    That’s a relief. Thanks for clearing that up Dan. I take back what I said. It wasn’t clear from the Channel9 video.

    Popfly DOES look cool, but not very useful as far as computing is concerned.

    The interface designer looks almost like what MS was doing with wallop where they were tracing social relationships between users.

    http://research.microsoft.com/scg/

    If you want, you could check out why none of the atlas stuff seems to work in Konqueror. I noticed that immediately.

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