Yesterday I met the head of a big mobile application developer here in London. When talking about widgets he said "well they told us about them some time ago and they're still 2 years away".
I was quite shocked by this and partly because I think there is an element of truth in it. When I think about it, I have been working with WRT technology for nearly 2 years already and with W3C widgets for a little less time and I can agree that 2 years ago I expected them to be mainstream by now; they are not. In fact the only appstore that can install WRT widgets is Ovistore. All other appstores have not added the mime type they need to do to enable their download. The work to add this mime type would take just a few minutes, with admittedly a UI change to say they can accept WRT, plus some testing. Not very significant effort but no-one has done it. I've asked GetJar to do it, I've asked one of the big appstore suppliers to Operators in the far east to do it, I've asked Sony Ericsson to do it (after all they have S60 phones with WRT capabilitiy but their appstore does not accept that type). All I get is we are considering doing it. Why? I am not sure why they refuse to do it - to some extent is lack of inertia or even foresight that this technology will be massive. The problem is there is no Steve Jobs to tell the world about the technology No-one giving it any momentum whatsover.
Meanwhile Jil.org have the backing of Vodafone, China Mobile and Softbank. This could not be bigger. It's beginning to move. You can submit widgets to JIL which will eventually end up on these operator portal (although currently its only Vodafone360 shop where they go). So it is beginning to start moving, if a little slowly.
Is it still 2 years away from being mainstream? I hope not!