Dekoh delivering a web desktop platform for applications

Dekoh is a company taking an interesting approach to Rich Internet Applications. They've built what could be called a WebOS and opened it up so that developers can build applications on top of it. They added a social effect to this so that friends can share Dekoh portals and applications.
Written by Ryan Stewart, Contributor

San Jose based company Pramati announced Dekoh today and gave me a look around the application. Dekoh's goal is to bring the web and the desktop together and to give developers the ability to create applications on top of that platform. Those applications can be shared and deployed anywhere in the network. It's a lofty goal, and with more flexible desktop technologies on the horizon like Apollo and WPF and some more entrenched properties like eyeOS and YouOS that could do the same thing, I'm not sure it will stack up. (Richard MacManus covers a lot of WebOS properties on Read/Write Web)

That said, there are definitely parts of Dekoh that don't exist in other places. Dekoh is built on Java and you can move seamlessly between online and offline mode thanks to an embedded web server. I asked about security and Vijay Puller, the CTO told me that they had configured the port so that only the local machine could browse to it. When you create an account, you're given a Dekoh portal, something like yourname.dekoh.net and you can add buddies, install applications and share your desktop. It adds an interesting twist of social networking to the webtop space and in the example I saw, you could share photos or invite your buddies to play a game.

Dekoh Photo Gallery

The most robust part of the platform is the ability to create and deploy applications. Currently there are a few applications and I believe Dekoh is planning on creating more when the product ships. The one that seemed the most fleshed out was the photo application (pictured). It ties in with the friend system of Dekoh so that you could share photos with your Dekoh contacts and manage photo sets. While I think this area has the most promise, I also wonder if developers will take to the product. You can build applications with JavaScript and HTML, so porting existing applications wouldn't be an issue, but Dekoh needs to find a hook for users that makes developers interested in doing that. Right now this seems like a very developer-centric platform with applications that would be interesting to users, but have been done better other places. For a first mover willing to take a chance, it might be worth checking out. They're also building out a widget platform which they plan to make available to non-Dekoh users. Their tag cloud widget (pictured) struck me as pretty cool.

Dekoh Tag Cloud

In the end Dekoh is trying to cover a lot of ground by incorporating Widgets, the webtop, online/offline access and home brewed applications. The ideal solution needs all of these to succeed, but I'm inclined to think the more free form solutions that exist are going to ultimately succeed. But throw some productivity applications into Dekoh and you could have a great intranet portal that works whether your at the office or on an airplane. It's all just a matter of getting the developers to come to the platform. They've set up a developer portal at dekoh.org to help with that. The company has been in business since 1998 and profitable the last 3 years.

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