Microsoft's ZenZui Launches Mobile Widget Browser

zenzuilogo.pngTechCrunch has covered the release of a new mobile widget platform, ZenZui, who launched their mobile widget browser this morning. The browser has lets users search through a grid of 36 widget tiles by panning and zooming around the grid by touchscreen or keypad. Each of the widgets in the browser serves as a mobile optimized interface to a website like Zillow or Amazon. It’s essentially a way to grow deck placement.

Widgets are created by developers and monetized on the service via “well-established advertising principles like CPA and CPM (we call it CPZ – Cost Per Zoom)”. ZenZui will split revenue with widget developers, as well as offer an ad-free version that displays messages from non-profits instead.

ZenZui’s zooming user interface was initially developed by Microsoft’s Redmond Research lab, and was spun off into it’s own company. In partnership with Microsoft IP Ventures, the company received $12 million in Series A funding from SeaPoint Ventures and other investors, with Microsoft retaining a stake in the company.

MobileCrunch has also covered other widget platforms such as Bluepulse and Nokia’s Widset.