eBay Desktop: Leveraging Platforms on the Desktop
I spoke, briefly, in my last entry about the concept of a Rich Internet Application (or RIA). Quite possibly the best example, that I’m familiar with, is that of eBay Desktop.
In perusing the Web 2.0 presentations (last April), I stumbled upon a presentation from Alan Lewis. You can read more about the presentation, and I highly encourage downloading the slides in .pdf form, here. (Yes, the entry is very old. . .No, Alan doesn’t update his blog frequently enough)
So, what is eBay Desktop?
Exactly what it says. eBay on the desktop. It, in essence, takes all of the things I love about eBay (simple browsing, categories, "watched" items) and enhances those capabilities in a desktop application. I, frankly, had stopped using eBay to a great extent (let’s just say the signal to noise ratio was rather high). But by using the desktop browsing capabilities, as pictured above, I am able to simply/quickly filter the quality of information without the endless browser load/reload cycle.
More importantly, however, is what eBay Desktop represents. This programme is a graphically-rich, desktop experience that leveraged existing web services in order to enhance user experience. This is the future of desktop applications. . .In this application, eBay’s web services were the platform that this (Adobe AIR based) solution leveraged.
There is a place for a web application. However, the technology solutions offered by major vendors, such as Microsoft WPF and Adobe AIR, greatly simplify the creation of enhanced experiences without the inherent difficulties of web-based solutions (scale, processing power, etc). Web services, and SDKs simplifying their integration are now available from a wide-range of providers (Storage – Amazon S3, Maps – Google, even Commerce – IP Commerce). The decision of web vs desktop has been made much more difficult, and more exciting, than in the past. There is inherent value in a desktop experience and it would be remiss to give it a pass without fully evaluating all options.
You can try eBay Desktop for yourself here.
What’s your perspective? Agree? Disagree? Anything to add? Critiques?
The comment form is below. . .
November 6, 2007