Profile – Konfabulator/Yahoo Widgets

Company: Konfabulator (now Yahoo Widgets)

Acquired: By Yahoo, announced July 25, 2005

What is it?

Konfabulator was acquired by Yahoo yesterday.

In their own words, “Konfabulator is a JavaScript runtime engine for Windows and Mac OS X that lets you run little files called Widgets that can do pretty much whatever you want them to. Widgets can be alarm clocks, calculators, can tell you your WiFi signal strength, will fetch the latest stock quotes for your preferred symbols, and even give your current local weather.” Link

Konfabulator was originally launched on February 10, 2003, for Mac only. A Windows version launched in November 2004.

Konfabulator required a download and works on both the Mac and Windows platforms. The Mac download is 5.4 mb, and the Windows download is 10 mb. The service previously required a fee but is now free.

Set up was quick and very easy after the download. Basically, it runs small applications on your desktop (there are thousands to choose from).

I like the calculator, sticky notes and RSS reader the best (although I cannot figure out how to configure the RSS reader to stop showing USA Today, and gave up). There are also widgets for weather, batter power, and just about everything else you can think of. A few are automatically downloaded with the installation, but they are easily removed and others are easily added simply by downloading them (they install into the correct directory automatically).

Widgets can easily be moved around the desktop, customized, and delted entirely.

There are tools to allow anyone to easily create their own widgets as well.

Konfabulator looks and feels very similar to Dashboard on OSX for the Mac, although some people claim creating widgets is easier on Konfabulator.

Overall, it’s cool but it will be uninstalled by the end of the evening. I noticed serious system slowdown after installation.

Screen Shots:


Arlo Rose
Perry Clarke
Ed Voas


Dan Farber, sinceretheory, BenBarren, Ajaxian, Om Malik, John Battelle, Abstract Dynamics, James Kendrick, Michael Parekh (long and excellent overview and discussion), blogblogblog, Charlene Li, Paul Kedrosky, Sincere Theory, Jake Jarvis

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