One of the many new web apps that has been emailed to me recently is one called NetJaxer, which caught my eye because it's a Web/desktop integrator. But it's a few days later and I've still not figured out what use it is. NetJaxer was described to me in the email:
"Our program is called NetJaxer http://www.netjaxer.com/ It’s a free and easy way to integrate a users favorite Web 2.0 apps like Gmail, TadaList, Digg, Writely, Kiko, iOutliner, Meebo, financial sites, and other Ajax based web programs right into Windows. They can create desktop, tray, and quick launch icons. These applications can easily be used with our custom browser."
So it's Windows only and enables you to create shortcuts for frequently used web services, like Gmail or Writely. A custom NetJaxer browser is used for interacting with the web apps.
The Ajaxian blog pointed out that what NetJaxer does can be achieved using existing desktop functionality, however they said it does hold some promise - "imagine dragging a document into a GMail icon or having desktop notification that your buddy just logged in to Campfire."
Interested to know more, I asked Paul from NetJaxer what the future holds for his product. He replied:
"Our short term goal is to get NetJaxer on as many desktops as possible. We may do a premium version based on feedback we receive from the free version. We will still have a free version. Or we may make it into a distribution system for Web 2.0 apps. We are still at the beginning stages but but have a few ideas such as those."
I was more after an indication of what future value users may get from the product, in terms of its Web-desktop integration (a hot theme right now). So I asked Paul for more details - and he replied:
"In a nutshell, our goal at present is creating simplicity for Web 2.0 users with the ability to quickly access their favorite web 2.0 programs from quick launches from the desktop, taskbar etc as they would programs from regular software suites.
As for distribution ideas, we have not formulated concrete plans on that yet. First and foremost we want to gain desktop population and gain insight on our users experiences to best know how they like NetJaxer and what we can also integrate into it to make their experience even better. So far the feedback we have been receiving is quite positive :-) From there other things will follow."
So it seems the NetJaxer folks don't really know what the future holds for the product. I'm left feeling like NetJaxer is an interesting little product... yet I still am none the wiser about what it can be used for other than as a place to store my web apps shortcuts. Which frankly I have little use for. But Ajaxian's ponderings along with Paul's suggestion of a distribution system are all intriguing thoughts. So I feel like there is something to a product like NetJaxer, because Web/desktop integration is becoming more and more important.
I'm keen to get some feedback from readers on this - do you see a compelling use (now or future) for NetJaxer or other Web/desktop integration products like it?