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
Launched in June 2011, Pokki is an application platform that enables developers to create engaging, connected desktop applications using standard web languages like HTML5.
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
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
You get the standard install screen.
Pokki-4- Standard Install Message
Click Continue to download.
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
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.
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
It has also installed an icon in my bottom menu bar.
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
I choose to skip and I am taken into 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
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.
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.
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.
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.