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Screen Shots: Microsoft's Popfly Mash-up Tool

Here are some of the primary features of Microsoft's new Popfly mashup tool, which went to alpha testers on May 18.

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Topic: Microsoft
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1 of 9 Mary Jo Foley/ZDNet
Microsoft unveiled on May 18 its Web mash-up tool for the masses, codenamed "Springfield," and now officially christened "Popfly."

Unlike Yahoo Pipes, Popfly is not aimed at tech-savvy users. Microsoft is hoping to attract non-professional programmers and hobbyists who are interested in building mash-ups, gadgets, simple Web pages and basic applications.

Popfly Blocks -- 40 of which are currently available -- will allow users to snap together existing Web pages, data and syndicated information. Microsoft and third-party developers are building more custom blocks.

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2 of 9 Mary Jo Foley/ZDNet

The Popfly design surface is where users can drag, drop and connect their blocks to build mash-ups and applications.

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3 of 9 Mary Jo Foley/ZDNet

Popfly users who are slightly more tech savvy can switch to the custom HTML view in order to tweak their HTML, CSS and and JavaScript code.

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4 of 9 Mary Jo Foley/ZDNet
Popfly provides further levels of customization, allowing users to choose from 150 themes, 10 styles and 30 colors.
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Popfly users can embed their own or others' customized mash-ups, gadgets and applets into existing Web sites.

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Popfly also includes the Office Live Web designer for users who want to visually design Web pages without having to write code.

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7 of 9 Mary Jo Foley/ZDNet

More Web 2.0 functionality in Popfly: Users can rate and rip projects, save them as Vista sidebar gadgets and/or integrate them directly into TypePad, Windows Live Spaces and other blogging platforms.

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8 of 9 Mary Jo Foley/ZDNet

To make Popfly more interesting to the "MySpace generation," Microsoft is adding in social-networking capabilities, allowing Popfly users to create their own Popfly communities.

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9 of 9 Mary Jo Foley/ZDNet

Also in alpha is a new Visual Studio Express Popfly Explorer plug-in, allowing users to upload and share their mash-ups with others.

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