Here’s another news snippet from the acquisition front. While Google bought Brazilian search engine todobr.com.br last week, Yahoo! is testing unknown waters with its latest purchase.
The search engine and portal giant has acquired tiny software company Pixoria, makers of the hip Konfabulator Widgets. Even though the name Konfabulator Widgets sounds like they are something straight out of Fred and George Weasley’s Wizard Wheezes joke shop, the Konfabulator Widgets are actually small desktop applications that enable users to look at local weather, stock quotes or other information without opening a Web browser.
For Yahoo!, the acquisition is all about providing users with more Internet content in ways that don’t rely on web browsers. There are currently over a 1000 different widgets available (ranging from traffic cams and random “The Simpsons” quotes to news feeds and picture viewers) and users are encouraged to develop and share their own widgets. The Konfabulator software, which used to cost $19.95, can now be downloaded for free from widgets.yahoo.com. Of course there is also a Yahoo! Search Konfabulator Widget!
It’ll be interesting to see how Yahoo! will start to monetize the widgets … I can almost picture text ads or banners showing up in the widgets in the future.