Microsoft's Popfly: Programming for Everybody Else?

Loraine Lawson

Let's be honest: Microsoft is more known for its business acumen than its technology innovations.


I continue to be amazed at the company's ability to take an idea, already well-known in the tech and online community, tweak it, and sell it to business.


Enter Popfly.


To be fair, Popfly is free. Microsoft plans to use it to promote other technologies, including Silverlight and Windows Live Services, according to InfoWorld.


Popfly Creator is a set of online tools for building Web pages and mashups, with the ability to create Web pages without knowing HTML or JavaScript, much as Blogspot does, only more so, since it allows you to tap into Microsoft's Visual Studio and the ASP.Net AJAX, according to Microsoft hopes it will be the YouTube of sharing applications, in that ordinary people will create, collaborate and share applications they create.


In other words, Popfly Space is the online community where people can do what people generally do in communities.


Frankly, it sounds like Popfly Space is Microsoft's version of MySpace. But, hopefully, it will have more substance. Full disclosure: I hate MySpace. Or, rather, I hate what users do with MySpace. It's like a throwback to the heady days of animated gifs. It gives me a headache and slows my laptop to a crawl.


But I digress.


Popfly Creator and Popfly Space went into alpha testing -- by invitation only -- last Friday. But Microsoft showed it over the weekend at the Maker Faire science event held in California, which is why you're suddenly seeing a spat of news coverage.

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