Opera have launched Widgetize! which works as part of their latest browser software (version 9) and allows users to set up desktop widgets using a simple web interface.
At present there’s a very limited selection – two news feed readers in fact – but Opera have said that more are coming soon.
Update: OK I’ve checked the front page and – well oops, there are a lot of widgets, so yes I’ll hold my hands up and apologise for (in the words of Harry) doing a ‘crap write-up). God knows what landing page I found when I signed up because there were only 2 widgets – but anyway…
Widgets include HTML editors, sketchbooks, to-do lists, puzzles, games, and, well loads of them. (Blush – must be the heat). And yes, they do look good – and yes, Opera does seem like a pretty good browser, but the fact is it’s still not widely used, and you won’t get heavy usage of the system with a browser that’s not a major player.
Those creating the widgets who have a web site can promote them through the use of buttons.
It’s certainly easy to use, but
given the small collection of widgets so far I’m not sure this is going to catch on. Firstly, you need to have Opera 9 installed to use them, and statistics I’ve seen show that Opera currently has less than 2% of the browser share.
If you click on a link to a widget and don’t have Opera installed,
you’ll be greeted with a screen inviting you to download it. If this is
being used to try to make Opera more popular, I don’t think it’ll work.
If you have Opera 9 installed, you can see an example here – it’s Tech Digest’s RSS feed, and if you want to take a look at some of the highest-rated widgets (it’ll take you some time) you can go here.
Nice idea, but (I still think) it won’t catch on in a big way.