Monday, February 25, 2008

Desktop and Gadget Sharing

One cool feature that is often overlooked in Smart Space is its ability to share desktops and gadgets with other users. To help understand this feature you need to understand what I am talking about when I use the term 'desktop'. I am referring to Smart Space desktops not Windows desktops. Smart Space Desktops are simply a collection of gadgets and services that a user has self-assembled. The user can have many of these 'sets' of gadgets that they can switch between throughout their working day. Back to the sharing part… Sharing these desktops with fully configured gadgets is a powerful feature. Imagine a financial analyst creating a desktop full of useful gadgets and passing it to everyone in their group, or an IT administrator creating a set to push out to the executives.

There are 2 major ways to do this. The first I call the 'thumb drive' method; the user creates a set of gadgets on a Smart Space desktop and then saves that set to a file (archives it). This file can be passed around in email, on thumb drives, or even on floppy disks (does anyone have one of these?). The second I call the 'push' method, in this scenario the user creates the set of gadgets and then tells Smart Space what user should get it (uses the collaboration engine). The users will then get a toast message (taskbar notification) that they have been passed and new desktop and then they can install it.

Either way is great for sharing content and will help customers deploy a unified application across their enterprise.

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