Microsoft Smacks Popfly Into Web 2.0

    October 18, 2007
    WebProNews Staff

A public beta of Microsoft’s Popfly content builder debuted, offering an environment for creating mashups and gadgets built on their Silverlight platform.

The monolith has touched the Web 2.0 crowd. No less an embodiment of Microsoft’s dominant business than CEO Steve Ballmer will chat with John Battelle at the keynote for the Web 2.0 Summit in San Francisco, to chat about Popfly and other Microsoft technologies.

Ballmer will tout Popfly as a power to the masses type of technology. People will be able to build web pages, or content like gadgets and mashups to plug into existing social networking profiles, blogs, or websites.

Added content could include games, eBay auctions, or photo slide shows. A web page could be a mashup of schedules, maps, and rich media content from a soccer team’s games, with the components built as Popfly applications.

"Microsoft is committed to supporting new business models on the Internet, and has an exciting – and growing – portfolio of Web technologies that is helping to catalyze the growth of Web innovation,” Ballmer said in a pre-keynote statement.

"This is an incredible time for developers, designers, advertisers, marketers and consumers to plug into and take advantage of the opportunities to experience and grow businesses on the Web," he continued.

Leading edge Web 2.0 properties like Facebook and Twitter plan to help their partner, Microsoft, promote Popfly.

But the Popfly team really did the best job of promoting it, by tweaking Microsoft’s legendary reputation for mile-long, bland as oatmeal product names:

Q Why did you call it Popfly?

A Well, left to our own devices we would have called it "Microsoft Visual Mashup Creator Express, October 2007 Community Tech Preview Internets Edition," but instead we asked some folks for help and they suggested some cool names and we all liked Popfly.

Popfly will require Microsoft’s Silverlight, which runs on Windows XP SP2 and on Vista.

It supports Internet Explorer 6.0+ and Firefox 2.0.

The free public beta allows storage of up to 25MB for the creations of Popfly users.