Yahoo has launched a new version of its widget engine, the web portal's platform for running mini-desktop applications.
Along with the release of Yahoo Widget Engine 3.0, the company has also unveiled nine new widget applications that run on the platform.
A widget is a small application that can run on a desktop without the use of a browser. The software is often used to quickly draw in content from a web service.
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Widgets are valuable to portals as they are a more direct route to services tied to online advertising.
Some of Yahoo’s rivals, including Google, also offer widgets.
The more efficient free widget engine can now deliver new applications including a portal mapping service for searching addresses and road maps, a picture frame for displaying photos from Yahoo's picture sharing service, an alert service for new messages in Yahoo e-mail boxes, along with other widgets.