Microsoft’s new Popfly service, which the company describes as an easy way to build and share mashups, gadgets, Web pages, and applications, is now officially in alpha release. While comparisons have been made between Popfly and some of the other Web 2.0 gadget/mashup services from companies such as Yahoo and Google, Microsoft has made it clear that Popfly is what the company has been all about since the day it launched BASIC for the Altair 8080.
“Our team’s vision is to democratize development by making it approachable to an entire class of people that want to “create” without necessarily having to write code,” said the Popfly team on its blog.
“We believe that if you can send an email, you should be able to build and personalize your own website, mashup, social networking site, or blog.”
There are two parts to Popfly — Popfly Creator and Popfly Space. Popfly Creator is a set of online visual tools for building Web pages and mashups. Popfly Space is an online community for creators where they can host, share, rate, comment and even remix creations from other Popfly users.
“Popfly Creator tools are designed to enable you to create Web experiences without being a programmer,” said the Popfly team. ”Connecting services on the Web is as easy as drawing a line between two blocks. Popfly creator also enables you to create static Web pages and even insert custom mashups directly into your static page.”
Featuring a hot pink rubber duckie as the mascot, Popfly is has been built using Silverlight, Microsoft’s Flash-killing Silverlight cross-browser, cross-platform plug-in for delivering the “next generation of media experiences and rich interactive applications (RIA)” for the Web.
“If anything, we’re going back to our roots in 1975 when Microsoft originally launched BASIC for the Altair 8080. Tools like BASIC and Visual Basic 1.0 democratized development by enabling users to easily build applications on DOS and Windows. We believe we can make Popfly a great tool for building and sharing applications on the Web.”