SweetLabs Offers an Option for PCs in Desperate Need of a Makeover

As a startup aiming to disrupt the personal computing continuum, San Diego’s SweetLabs represents an intriguing challenge to the Microsoft juggernaut.

With the new Windows 8 operating system scheduled for general availability next month, SweetLabs recently completed beta testing its Pokki technology for the desktop PC, saying Pokki now has more than 1 million monthly active users. The San Diego startup, with venture funding from Google, Intel, and others, introduced its Pokki app platform last summer.

“We know we have a long ways to go, with 1.3 billion PC users worldwide,” SweetLabs co-founder Chester Ng wrote to me by email yesterday. “But we’re excited by this early sign we may be onto something… in our crazy mission to reinvent the PC experience.”

Pokki is a combination app store and app launcher that lets users start programs directly from the Windows taskbar—even Web-based apps like Gmail that would normally require opening a browser. The milestone is technically 1 million monthly active users (MAUs)—people who have not only downloaded and installed Pokki, but who actually have been actively using Pokki’s collection of apps and games. Ng would not disclose a more relevant number, which is the growth rate of Pokki users. But he writes, “To give you an idea of what our recent trajectory has looked like, we’ve roughly doubled on average every month over the past six months.”

As I’ve explained before, Pokki is a platform that’s intended to … Next Page »

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Bruce V. Bigelow was the editor of Xconomy San Diego from 2008 to 2018. Read more about his life and work here. Follow @bvbigelow

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