Eric Auchard at Reuters:
Microsoft Corp. extended an olive branch to some of its harshest critics on Tuesday by proposing a way for Internet users to “cut and paste” live Web data across different sites, just as they can between computer programs.
Ray Ozzie, Microsoft’s chief technical officer, told a conference of top Web developers here that his company wants to openly license a simple technology for sharing data between Web and computer programs — whether Microsoft-controlled or not.
“Live Clipboard,” as the concept technology is known, would take the widely used clipboard feature common to many computer programs and extend it to the Web, allowing users to share organized data between Web sites or move it into PC programs.
In a slide show demonstration, Ozzie showed how users could simply cut and paste complex structured information from one Web site to another, or move the same data, preserving its formatting, to programs running on Windows desktop computers.
He copied personal contact information out of his computer address book into an online shopping checkout page, filling out the order processing pages in a quick gesture, for example.
“It allows the user to copy structured information from one place to another in a non-geeky fashion,” Ozzie told roughly 1,000 programmers and Web developers attending the O’Reilly Emerging Technology conference under way here this week.
More by following the link. Of course, it’s a “non-geeky” view, but it’s worth noting because that’s the whole point. Why are users still stuck with “Ctrl-A -> Ctrl-C -> Ctrl V” to move data between Web apps, or between Web apps and the desktop? As for the olive branch part, it’s great PR and it takes two to interoperate. The transcript of Ozzie’s talk is here and his weblog posting has more.