Oddpost is aquired by Yahoo!


I loved the Oddpost product – the only reason I stopped using it is because my online life now predominantly resides on a Mac, which at this stage is not supported by Oddpost (I’m not bitching btw – this is a fact of life that, as a web developer, I am more than willing to accept). More importantly I am really happy for the team that built the product – Ethan and Iain and the ever responsive support person Debbie, and the rest of the team that built in a wicked spam filter and slaved over browser bugs and performance bottle-necks to build an awesome web-based app, one that I think sets the standard, and probably will remain that way for a few years, on what can be done in a browser-based application.

In the Loosely Coupled article linked to above, Phil makes some very valid points about how this impacts Microsoft’s desktop business moving forward. One thing that isn’t mentioned is that Oddpost, with all of it’s DHTML and Javascript goodness, supports Internet Explorer for PC only. There were murmurrings that this may change, but honestly, Microsoft still owns Oddpost at the moment. If IE breaks the application (through any number of quite legitmate ways), they’re going to have a lot of hard work ahead of them keeping compatibility. I am aware that they have already poured a lot of time into supporting 5.x variants of IE, so it’s not hard to imagine a large amount of work going into compatibility for 7.x if/when it ever arrives.

As Mozilla matures and starts to introduce enhanced application-development features, perhaps the landscape will change. But at the moment, to deliver the rich experience that Oddpost does, Microsoft still owns the space with ~90% of the browser market (in terms of installed base). So, I don’t think they’ll be quaking in their boots just yet. But I’m sure they’re thinking hard about they’re next move, but it seems that Avalon and .NET are where they’re heading. What does that mean for the “browser”? Less development, less features, and a shift of those features from the browser into technologies like Avalon. Whether developers will buy it, who knows. Certainly is an interesting time though…