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Yahoo! Hammered Over Konfabulator Successor

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In my post on Monday about software hits and misses, I gave the new Yahoo! Widget Engine 3.0 a definite ‘miss’ verdict for the moment as this version for Windows really doesn’t appear to be worthy of unleasing on an unsuspecting public as this growing comment thread in the support forum clearly indicates.

When I posted on Monday, that thread had two pages of comments. It’s up to five pages now where users are bitterly complaining about so many issues with this successor app to the really great Konfabulator product.

What’s interesting is how many of the comments include highly negative opinions about Yahoo! and the perceived damaging affect its purchase of Pixoria, the original developer of Konfabulator, is having on application development. Undoubtedly there are some trolls in there commenting but, nevertheless, here you have lots of Konfabulator users – many of them passionate about that product – who are connecting the problems with this new version with Yahoo’s take-over of the original developer.

I doubt there’s any connection at all. But it’s perception we’re talking about here. This perception/connection situation prompted an embattled Ed Voas, the member of the original Konfabulator team in charge of the Windows version, to make this exasperated comment in response to one poster -

Why is this all about Yahoo!? Yahoo’s purchase of K is not what caused your upgrade issues. We have always moved older Widgets to an Older Widgets folder when we are moving in the newer ones. That said, it was NOT supposed to move ALL of your Widgets out. I definitely apologize that this is happening, because it’s just plain wrong. I was told that Update was working properly. I guess it was not, and it’s not something I’m happy about either.

It looks like there are some major disconnects somewhere within Yahoo! application development. It also looks as though they are finalizing a quick fix: from a reply by Ed to another poster -

[...] In any case, I believe I have this fixed now and the fix will be in 3.0.1.

I wonder how many people will treat even the fresh installer with some caution in light of what’s happened this week. I for one will get it when it’s available but, before installing it, I’ll be seeing what’s being said in the forum. Meanwhile, I’m comfortably staying with Konfabulator 2.1.1 which works just great.

If I were Yahoo!, I’d be getting that 3.0.1 fix out there asap. There doesn’t appear to be any meaningful commentary about this in any blogs – it’s all just within the support forum. I’d be surprised if that remains the case if the issues aren’t resolved quickly. I’d also be posting some kind of explanation on the website of what happened, with an apology. I’d say the apology will go a very long way indeed in smoothing some very ruffled feathers, and helping keep the situation to no more than that: ruffled feathers but still broadly happy customers.

If I were Yahoo!, I’d be taking a look at the The Social Customer Manifesto if I hadn’t already done that.

As I write this post, that fix version 3.0.1 is not yet available for download.

Neville Hobson is the author of the popular NevilleHobson.com blog which focuses on business communication and technology.

Neville is currentlly the VP of New Marketing at Crayon. Visit Neville Hobson’s blog: NevilleHobson.com.

Yahoo! Hammered Over Konfabulator Successor
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