Microsoft positioned Popfly as a competitor with rich UI for Yahoo Pipes. In fact, when they released Silverlight, they used Popfly as the poster boy for Silverlight’s capabilities. They expected Popfly to be a success like Yahoo Pipes. After some initial wave of curiosity, it didn’t get a deeper traction. Now they are shutting down. A note in their website says it will be gone on August 24th.
The blog post announcing the shut down asks people to embrace other Microsoft technologies like Microsoft Web Platform or Microsoft XNA or Microsoft Kodu. It is sad to see them go down after being positioned as the torchbearer for Silverlight technology. I tried playing around a few time but it didn’t come anywhere closer to Yahoo Pipes in terms of flexibility and user experience. Plus, it was painfully slow for me with all the bloated UI.
According to Todd Bishop’s Microsoft Blog, the current economic reality and Microsoft’s plan to refocus their strategies to better deal with the current market conditions have played a role in the shutdown.
With Popfly, Microsoft set out to do something new, and made somereally great progress and learned a lot of lessons that we will applyto our (software plus services) offerings and developer tools such ashow to operate a large scale service, how beginner developers approachtheir first projects, and how to cultivate innovative ideas and bringthem through the product life cycle. However, like many companies, theeconomic situation has caused us refocus and to reevaluate ourpriorities; while successful and popular, Popfly is not part of ourrefocused strategy.
First it was Google Mashup Editor and, now, Microsoft’s Popfly and I hope Yahoo Pipes stay in the game. With Yahoo Pipes, the impact will be much more severe than Popfly as many people have taken advantage of Yahoo Pipes to optimize their workflow.
PS: While we are on the topic, I want to recommend Apatar, which has Yahoo Pipes like capability and it is also Open Source.