Microsoft's Popfly mashup tool sounds just about ready to hit public beta.
Microsoft rolled out an alpha test version of its Popfly Web-mashup tool in May -- a few months after Yahoo rolled out its own mashup editor, Yahoo Pipes. Google launched a test version of its Google Mashup Editor in May, too.
Popfly could become one of Microsoft's next ad-supported services. (Microsoft officials said this week that the company is working on a pilot of an ad-funded version of Microsoft Works, its low-end productivity suite. And it sounds like the Softies have more ad-funded services in the works, no pun intended.)
Popfly has been faring well in comparison tests against its competitors. Still no word yet on when Popfly will go "gold."