SAN DIEGO -- Microsoft Chief Technology Officer Ray Ozzie on Tuesday unveiled technology he called "Live Clipboard" for connecting Web sites and desktop applications using a combination of RSS feeds, other XML, and the humble desktop clipboard.
The technology allows Web developers to write simple code that puts buttons on Web pages that copy information to the desktop clipboard, and then paste the information to desktop applications or other Web pages. !--more--
The tools were designed to be as simple as the desktop clipboard itself, said Ozzie. "If you walk out of here today, and say, 'That wasn't such a big deal, then I will have done my job,'" Ozzie quipped to the audience during his keynote address at the O'Reilly Emerging Technology Conference here.
Live Clipboard is available for multiple platforms, not just Windows. Ozzie demonstrated it using the Firefox Web browser.
Ozzie demonstrated several uses for the Live Clipboard. He copied addresses and appointments from Web pages, and automatically added them to Microsoft Outlook and the Microsoft Live calendar service on the Web. He navigated to the Flickr photo-sharing service, and quickly and easily copied a whole group of photos from the Web site to a folder on his local hard disk. He then subscribed to an RSS feed for the group that would automatically update the folder when new photos were added to the Web site.
The technology works by copying data, structured using XML, from the Web to the clipboard, and then from the clipboard to the target, which can be another Web page or a desktop application.
Just as the desktop clipboard serves as a handy and flexible tool for sharing data and mash ups between desktop applications, Live Clipboard is designed to permit that kind of sharing on the Web.
Ozzie has posted a further explanation, technical details, screencast and a live demo of the tools on his blog.