Yahoo Inc. has acquired Konfabulator, a software maker that provides a computer platform for monitoring the weather, stock prices, and other customized information without opening a Web browser. The deal, finalized late last week for an undisclosed price, gives Yahoo access to a toolbox of mini-applications--known as widgets--which Konfabulator first introduced for Apple Computer Inc.'s Macintosh in 2002.
Konfabulator's widgets will be exposed to a much wider audience under its new ownership. Yahoo ended June with 181 million registered users. The widgets will draw upon information and services already on Yahoo's Web site without requiring a browser to see it. The material instead is displayed through an animated icon on the computer desktop. Yahoo plans to give away the Konfabulator software that empowers the applications. Konfabulator had been charging $20 for the software. Anyone who bought version 2.0 of the software since mid-May will be given refunds.