08 Jan 2005
I again noticed the grumble that Central, their platform for distributing applications to users, should have been better integrated into the desktop, as seen in Dashboard and Konfabulator (mentioned previously). Central hasn’t inspired any developers I know, in fact I haven’t heard about anyone installing it, it seems like it’s going nowhere (or got there already).
In the interest of fair play, I grudgingly installed Central and had a quick go. An application browser/launcher with integrated purchasing must have seemed like a good idea, but it lacks the ‘wow’ factor, doesn’t convey a clear purpose, and currently has a measly 23 items listed in App Finder.
Here’s a suggestion for Macromedia for making Central a success: scrap it. Start talking to Apple and Pixoria about ensuring Flash becomes a key technology in Dashboard (which will support it) and Konfabulator (which currently doesn’t). They’ve already got guaranteed audiences and interested developers, and possibly more reasons to welcome such an approach than fear it. Produce an App Finder widget for browsing free and paid-for Flash widgets/content. Have the humility to acknowledge failure, move on, and focus on helping developers to produce things that will actually get used.
Or am I mistaken and Central is in fact a strong product with a promising future ahead?