Things are getting out of hand with all kind of new ways to do widgets easier and easier while injecting them with more power. Sprout is not helping matter with their announcement of a SDK release.
Sprout is the powerful Drag and Drop Flex based editor that let you make a widget and output it in flash with a ease of use that allows even non-developers to make their widget, and make that widget something as good as the basic ones from professional developers.
They also updated the editor to v1.5 allowing to make a widget while leveraging data from other web services like seesmic, twitter and polldaddy making Sprout not only the easiest solution to make a widget on your own, but also a platform you can work with, a engine to tap into and a distributor to a certain degree.
These integrations allow you do mash ups and integrate them into the widget you are making. for example i could crate a widget that can reproduce my videos at seesmic and place a polldaddy sourced poll to render after each video or create a new twitter account that only serve polls from polldaddy twitter polls and then could also place the resulting poll in the widget while the tweets polls rotate or appear. the possibilities are enticing.
This finally improves their game and put them way over Yahoo Pipes, PopFly, Netvibes UWA ecosystem and even Widgetbox for easy and powerful widget creating.
Said sources would represent their main competition and after playing a little with Sprout, from a mainstream point of view, there is simply no contest here on the development terms.
And the final touches that make it viable is that they offer excellent web High Spread (powered by Gigya wildfire), distribution Channels ( Springwidgets, ClearSpring and Gigya of course) and Tracking for your Widget (seems to be a in house solution) and that should position them as a All in one solution for easy widget development.
This still of course not replaces development for more advanced widgets like the ones that operate in flex or Silverligth or operate a advanced solution (like a whole live channel library, a shopping store,etc) and neither do constitute a solution for full apps for Social networks even if they do can be seen as a Widget-app solution too right now.
That is a void that they expect to fill with the SDK, but i doubt that it can serve for the kind of widgets we are about to start seeing with the new RIA choices in the market. at least for now….maybe in version 2.0….
Now i am even more interested in seeing more about musestorm new offerings and what widgetbox do next.