Onfolio and IE thoughts
Scoble recently wrote about Onfolio, which is essentially “Favorites on steroids” as he says. Well the favorites feature in IE pretty useless so anything is better. Kudos to the folks who made Onfolio though because the UI is very polished, something you don't see to often (nice 32 bit icons, good use of standard HI controls, fonts, elements etc).
Onfolio reminds me a lot of a feature we have in Mac Internet Explorer; The Scrapbook. Scrapbook was essentially a way to take a snapshot of a web page, and save it off for the user in their Explorer Bar like feature (we called it something else). Anyway, the feature was great because you could quickly and easily capture things like order confirmations and so on. Onfolio seems to extend that metaphor and adds a whole bunch of useful functionality, like better categorization, sharing, adding personal notes. However, as a person who uses more than one Computer I find it a deal breaker that there isn’t any kind of roaming story, or way to persist my saved stuff across multiple machines. Joe Cheng kindly left a comment in Scoble's post that indicates that since the data is just stored as .cfs files in theory they could be roamed. I use a feature called Intellimirror, or Roaming My Documents (part of Windows 2000 and XP) to keep the Windows My Documents folder the same across all my Microsoft PCees, so I'll have to find a way to get Onfolio to store the files there (which is where my IE Favorites are stored).
Interestingly enough Scrapbook, is one of my two favorite MacIE feature to make it over to Windows. Forms Autofill was another feature we created to help users populate web forms with some stored information. Google brings that to us with the Google Toolbar.
And this all brings me to something I was complaining to my manager about the other day. Why did we just all of a sudden decide to stop innovating in the browser space? I mean it’s still in the top 2 things that people do on the Internet. Do we feel that IE is perfect and that further innovation is no longer warranted? Is it because it’s the dominant browser, end of story? Well we have other products that are market leaders and we still pour R&D into them. Well, it’s more than likely that it’s because it generates no direct revenue. However, it’s a part of Windows and that generates a lot of revenue. I’m personally upset that nothing is being done to enhance my productivity when browsing the web. Right now it’s atrocious, with all the windows that I can never track down, the annoying disappearing status bar, the CSS bugs etc. I’ve used Avant Browser and Firefox, but still find myself coming back to IE because it’s the default, and it’s there.
I wonder how much longer before my PC caves in because of all the add-ins, enhancements and other software I have that extends IE, Outlook, XP etc ;-). I can just hear my co-workers reminding me of how many extensions and hacks I use to have on my Classic Mac OS machines...