eBay have just moved their eBay desktop into beta. The application provides functionality that would not be found in a web-based interface.
Benefits of a desktop application include:
- No need for multiple tabs, eBay desktop handles everything through a slick, well-designed interface.
- Monitor your watched items without having to leave the browser open. eBay desktop sits in your system tray providing alerts for reminders, messages etc.
- Items are monitored in realtime, this means no refreshing the browser and being outbid while you wait for the browser to reload (hurrah!).
The application is powered by Adobe’s AIR runtime which allows developers to use their existing web development skills to build and deploy internet applications to the desktop.
Initially AIR was thought to be a niche product but after seeing this application views might change. eBay seems to be ideally suited to this style of application and the final result is very impressive.
I wonder if any other website will follow suit? Facebook could take their site to the desktop and provide some form of instant messaging application to rival MSN messenger. The possibilities seem endless.