Sunday, April 09, 2006

Live Clipboard Progress

It's been about a month since Notes creator (and current MSFT CTO) Ray Ozzie introduced the concept of a "live clipboard". The gist of the idea is that users should be able to cut and paste information between web sites - basically, a clipboard for the web. Disparate sites and divergent browsers shouldn't matter... the value-add is that the clipboard interoperates seamlessly.

There's been some notable progress made since the introduction. There's an XML format, a demo page (that didn't seem to work for me in Firefox), an Atlas component, and a Technical Introduction in the form of a white paper.

It looks like a neat concept: one that might have some interesting use-cases for manually moving information across the web. The demos that I've seen all revolve around contact information -- not exactly the most complex format -- where personal data can be copied from a virtual business card (vCard) to another page with a couple o' clicks.

That said, I'm still not sure who the "crossing the chasm" user-community (or even the major use-cases) will be. I'm also having trouble envisioning how normal users (I'll refrain from using the term "clueless newbies") will bridge the conceptual gap - and grasp when, how, and why to use Live Clipboard. But maybe that's just me. Read on and judge for yourself...

Ray Ozzie: Live Clipboard Progress

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