pokki logo

pokki logo

So this is something a little (lot) different.

Even though this blog is focused like a laser on Windows 8, I came across a company and a product that you might just want to check out.

The company name is Sweetlabs and they were founded in 2008 to “empower developers to reach new users and monetize great applications”.

They are a startup based in San Diego and funded by Intel Capital, Google Ventures, Bessemer Venture Partners, and O’Reilly AlphaTech Ventures.

Their first product was the OpenCandy advertising network. This is an in-app platform that powers user-friendly software recommendations during the download and installation process.

For the purposes of this article, I’m more concerned with their other prduct – Pokki.

The Pokki Store

The Pokki Store

Launched in June 2011, Pokki is an application platform that enables developers to create engaging, connected desktop applications using standard web languages like HTML5.

In light of all the things happening with Windows 8 and HTML5, CSS and Javascript for Windows 8, this app caught my eye.

Pokki is a framework built on Chromium that allows developers to build basic applications using standard web technologies. It brings the app experience directly to the Windows desktop. It offers users the ability to easily engage with their favorite web services beyond the confines of the browser.

I decided to give it a try by heading to Pokki.com and clicking on Signup.


You get the standard offers to sign up via email or Facebook.

I choose the Facebook option and am instantly signed in (see top right).

Pokki-2 -logged in

Pokki-2 -logged in

I decided to install Instagrille for my demo.

Here’s the description of this app:

Instagrille by Denis Denisyuk

See fun and gorgeous photos from your closest friends, and creative people from around the world. Instagram is now on the desktop with Instagrille. Like, comment, use smiles and have fun.

I click download and get the Chrome plug-in warning. I click run this time.

Pokki-3 Installing Instagrille

Pokki-3 Installing Instagrille

You get the standard install screen.

Pokki-4- Standard Install Message

Pokki-4- Standard Install Message

Click Continue to download.

Pokki-5 - Downloading Pokki

Pokki-5 - Downloading Pokki

After the install is complete (super quick), it asks for permission and then installs the links icon on your bottom menubar.

Pokki-6 - icon installed on menu bar

Pokki-6 - icon installed on menu bar

Note: Something that wasn’t clear going through the process was that even though I had tried to install Instagram, the first time you install anything from the store, it actually is just installing the Pokki executable.

Once installed, you simply click on the icon and it takes you back to the store.

Pokki default

Pokki Store

This is the Pokki app store and now that you have the client installed, you can download apps and games from here.

I head to the Instagrille section and download it and it takes about 10 seconds.

As you can see, it says “installed”.

Pokki-7 - Instagrille installed

Pokki-7 - Instagrille installed

It has also installed an icon in my bottom menu bar.

Pokki-8 - Instagram icon installed

Pokki-8 - Instagram icon installed

When I click on the Instagrille icon it brings up a sign in screen (optional):

Pokki-9 - Instagrille Sign in

Pokki-9 - Instagrille Sign in

I choose to skip and I am taken into Instagrille.

Pokki-10 - Instagrille

Pokki-10 - Instagrille

Remember this is a web application installed in a nice neat windows wrapper on my desktop.

I click on a picture on the app and it comes up really quickly:

Pokki-11 - sample photo

Pokki-11 - sample photo

It’s pretty cool, quick and unintrusive. These guys may be onto something here.

Basically, if I had to explain Pokki to a stranger, I would say it’s an interesting desktop based version of the Apple Store, Windows 8 App Store and Download.com all merged into one.

The one difference is that this store is “local” on your desktop and allows you to suck down and install HTML5 and Javascript based games and apps quickly.

Once again, what I like about the framework is how discrete and unintrusive it is.

I used Instagrille for the example above but there are a whole bunch of games and apps in the Pokki store.

Some examples:

Little Alchemy
Start with four basic elements, then mix and match them to create more and more awesome things.

Discover music like never before with unlimited streaming to all of your devices.

Stay notified and quickly access everything you love about Facebook.

Onslaught! Arena
Ain’t no rest for the wicked in this medieval fantasy arcade combat shoot ’em up.

and many more…

Once again you can check out the Pokki store here:


I was intrigued by the company and product so I spoke with one of their founders (and their CMO) Chester Ng.

Stay tuned for that tomorrow.

What do you think about this software model?

Take a spin with Pokki and leave your comments below.

About the Author

Onuora Amobi is the Founder and VP of Digital Marketing at Learn About The Web Inc. Onuora has more than a decade of information security, project management and management consulting experience. He has specialized in the management and deployment of large scale ERP client/server systems.

In addition to being a former Microsoft MVP and the founder and editor of EyeOnWindows.com, he is the CEO of a Pasadena based online marketing education startup - Learn About The Web Inc. (www.learnabouttheweb.com) and The Redmond Cloud (https://www.theredmondcloud.com).

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  1. Phillip Fasan / May 2, 2012 at 4:01 pm /Reply

    I think it’s cool but a little confusing how it works as opposed to the Windows Store. Seems like it just allows desktop apps?

  2. Nice. Ima give it a shot

  3. Thank you,Onuora!
    Very interesting news!

  4. Yay, another review… I was just wondering, has anyone pointed out that usually it is pretty easy to get rid of the “[email protected]; on behalf of; Windows News ” on every e-mail sent? It makes the sender look a little more professional which in the case of this blog is kind of important, especially now that you are switching over to a premium model. We typically require that people have that fixed in my workplace.

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