I am still thinking about Ray Ozzie's introduction of Live Clipboard at ETech. Having a clipboard wired into the Web is simple, and so obvious. Why haven’t we thought of it before? Mostly because the Web has been a bunch of islands of loosely connected innovation. And without Microsoft, it doesn't happen. Ozzie has given Microsoft some newfound respect among the anti-Redmond contingent. Here's a bit more color on Ozzie's concept of a universal clipboard:
Each [largely siloed site] has tremendous power. Might have ability to do a lot of data interchange on the inside. We've defined small XML schemas, microformats that represent the data elements that we might be able to exchange between sites. Where is the clipboard of the Web. What is the thing that lets people get information from one site, one web app to another as easily as it's possible to do today with GUI-based apps.
A few months ago I had an idea: why isn't the clipboard for the Web the clipboard. If users are already deeply familiar with how to weave together desktop apps, why can't we continue on this paradigm to the web. I have a concept development team that works for me. I went to them a month ago, gave them rough concepts, and gave them challenge: how can we jam things together in a browser?
What we've come up with, what I'm going to show you today, is a simple concept. It's some script code, some standard data formats. It's a gift to the web. if you walk out here when I'm done and you say "well, that wasn't a very big deal" I will have accomplished my mission. Wouldn't it be cool if we had a simple paradigm that was scalable?
Yes, it would be very cool. Now let's see if the Community can make it happen...