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Network World - The PC desktop hasn't really changed in the last 15 years, despite the advances caused by the Web. It's still a place where users put their folders, application shortcut icons, assorted files and other junk that ends up mostly cluttered. If the user has changed the wallpaper of their desktop, the image is usually hidden behind all of the icons and assorted junk. The creation of "desktop widgets" hasn't helped much, as these widgets end up taking up more of the PC desktop real estate – and unless a user adds a new monitor, there's not much space to have.
Australian company 360desktop aims to change this with its "panoramic desktop platform," called 360desktop. Available for free from its Web site, the platform extends the Windows desktop into a panoramic workspace (users pan either left or right to access the additional "space").
In addition to giving users a way to better organize their existing desktop content (such as application shortcuts, files or folders), the 360 platform lets users add Web 2.0-type content such as Web pages, videos, RSS feeds, slideshows and widgets. This creates a dynamic desktop that lets users get away from their browser for finding and looking at all their content.
Content publishers and advertisers should also take note – the platform allows brand owners to create and deliver content dynamically to their target audiences, through the desktop instead of a browser or Web page. For example, a movie studio could create a "360" that includes images from the movie, but also animated interactive scenes, movie trailers that can also be launched at specific times through the campaign.
Even enterprises can get in on the act – they will be able to create special private "360" content that can be distributed through a private intranet, or for selected partners, to deliver content to specified desktops. While the company hopes for a community of users who create specialized "360" desktops for others to download and enjoy, the company will allow for private ones as well.
The company says advertisers will pay for branded channels through the 360desktop Web site, but they also plan on working with advertisers for special advertising areas on the 360desktop platform, as well as special corporate licensing opportunities.
Read more about software in Network World's Software section.