There have been small bits of information trickling out about Yahoo's BrowserPlus, but today in a blog posting on the Yahoo Developer Network we got some more information about what Yahoo's planning and it's a good development for RIAs. In their own words, Yahoo is building a platform to extend the web:
- Drag-and-drop from the desktop
- Client-side image manipulation (cropping, rotation & filters)
- Desktop notifications
Clint Boulton makes the comparison between Gears and Adobe AIR, which is sort of correct. It really looks like it's more competition for Google Gears as it will run inside the browser and expand the capabilities of the browser. It also doesn't seem to be a one-plugin fro everything model. In the case of Yahoo BrowserPlus, users would download a plugin, and then websites could call different web services supported by BrowserPlus and BorwserPlus would load those into the browser when they're called. That means it's very easy for Yahoo to add functionality to the platform as they go instead of having to worry about distributing a new version of the plugin every time.
Some of the new functionality parallels the new features and roadmap of Google Gears that was announced today and it's interesting to see two big web companies continue to try and expand on what the browser can do by offering their own functionality. If you look at Mozilla Prism, Adobe AIR, Google Gears, and BrowserPlus, there does seem to be a lot of interest in moving beyond the browser and there is plenty of choice for how each developer makes that happen.