When you're competing with companies like Adobe and Microsoft, it can be tough to make a splash, but despite that fact, OpenLaszlo continues to chug along and seems well positioned to do well this year with a few new initiatives. Laszlo a new look website and a new swagger that should help them in 2007 as the RIA market continues to heat up.
Laszlo made some big strides in 2006. On the financial front, they doubled annual revenue and closed a $26.25 million round of funding. They lined up IBM, Walmart.com, H&R Block, Monster, Barclays Global and Pandora and have tracked 290,000 downloads of the platform. They announced project "Orbit" which will allow OpenLaszlo developers to compile into Java Mobile and run it on devices. They've also been hard at work on OpenLaszlo 4.0, which will support Flash as well as Ajax so you can deploy the version that's best for your environment.
So what's next for OpenLaszlo? They are diamond sponsors for AjaxWorld this year so they're busily working to get the word out. They've also recently made a move into the web OS space, with their Laszlo Webtop. I've been critical of the WebOS in the past, and I'm still not sold on how viable it is, but for showcasing the Laszlo platform, their Webtop seems interesting. They also continue to innovate around Laszlo Mail, so I think there's a benefit in showing developers what's possible.
Ultimately, I think Laszlo can succeed by providing aspiring RIA developers with an RIA platform that fits a lot of needs. They can't go head to head with the big guys, but they've created a great open source RIA platform, and that is going to have increasing value as more people look to create RIAs. It's also a great way to jump from Ajax to Flash, and I think we'll see a lot more of that this year as well. For those companies who see benefits to Flash, but aren't ready to give up everything that Ajax brings them, Open Laszlo is a great solution. This is still very much a company to watch, especially as they try new things like the Webtop that may get more attention.