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Aug 20, 2008

IDF: Yahoo unleashes TV widgets. Expect Apple to follow.

The reason I liked the Internet television serviceJoost had nothing to do with the content. Rather, I saw its interactivity with other web services while watching the content as the future of television. While Joost itself may be struggling, the idea of adding widgets to the television experience lives on. Today at the Intel Developer Forum (IDF), Intel announced a partnership with Yahoo on the Widget Channel, an application framework that brings widgets to your television.

If you’ve used Yahoo’s Konfabulator widgets (now called Yahoo Widgets), this is the same idea, I was told as the Yahoo display booth today. Basically these are small programs that run on top of whatever you are doing in the background. Usually these run on computers so that backdrop is your desktop, now that backdrop will be programs on your TV.

But let’s call this what it really is: An app store. It’s a free app store, but it’s still an app store.

Who else has an app store — or rather the App Store? Apple.

Not only does Apple have the App Store, it also has several patents for putting widgets on your television, presumably through its Apple TV device. I’ve gone one step further before and saidApple will eventually extend its popular App Store, currently only available on the iPhone and iPod Touch, to the Apple TV (and other devices) as well. Widgets or small apps, what’s really the difference? They’re coming. You know it and I know it...

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