Sobees widget engine launches private beta

While we often find ourselves thinking "the last thing this world needs is another desktop widget engine," we might be willing to make an exception for Sobees. While we'd forgive you if you mistook Sobees as nothing but a desktop widget engine like Google Desktop, Yahoo! Widget Engine, or Vista's gadgets and the Dashboard in OS X, it's actually much more.

First of all, yes, Sobees does let you load modules on your desktop for doing things like making notes, showing the time and date, or interacting with the web. There are also nifty RSS and Twitter clients, and a web browser with a built in web search feature that lest you sort results by images or text links.

But there are at least three things that set Sobees apart from most other desktop widget applications.
  1. Sobees widgets are highly customizable. You can resize any widget by clicking on a portion of the edge and dragging it in or out. You can also make widgets translucent or opaque, and choose from a variety of options for each widget.
  2. Sobees widgets interact with one another, and you can share content from widgets with your contacts. For example, you can save an item from an RSS feed and share it with other Sobees users.
  3. Your data is synchronized with a remote server, which means you can install Sobees on multiple computers and changes to one will be reflected on another. If you'd like to have a separate setup for your work and home computers, there's no problem though, because you can set up multiple desktops.
Sobees is currently Windows only, but according to CenterNetworks, a Mac client is in the works. An API will also be released eventually which should dramatically increase the number of widgets available. Sobees is quite clearly still beta software. It takes a fairly long time to load the application, it freezes up periodically, and it uses close to 200MB of RAM. But Sobees is worth keeping an eye on. If you want to help test the software, you an sign up to participate in the private beta.