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Apple iPhone Competitor Better for Widgets?

We came across an announcement for a cell phone interface, ZenZui’s Zooming User Interface. This interface was initially developed by the Microsoft Redmond Research Lab and the independent company ZenZui is backed by Microsoft IP Ventures. Unlike the iPhone, ZenZui is not a phone but an interface that can be deployed on various mobile devices.

The zooming interface utilizes up to 36 tiles with simple one finger/thumb navigation. You get to pick what tiles or widgets that are available in your Zoomspace. According to ZenZui, there are no additional costs beyond your mobile data plan. The system will be ad supported. While we are not sure about this, we will give them the benefit of the doubt and hope the ads are relevant and non-intrusive.

What really sparked our interest is the announcement of a developer SDK that will be made available in summer of 2007 and the ability of third party developers to push their tiles/widgets into the ZenZui Ecosystem. This open system will undoubtedly make ZenZui more appealing than the iPhone if Apple and Cingular continue to keep the platform closed. Developers will have the option to either pair their tile to a non profit for charity or to participate in the ad system with revenue sharing.

Overall this looks pretty cool but it’s a ways off and we’ll have to wait and see how this plays out. Here’s a video demonstrating ZenZui’s Zooming User Interface.

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