Anyone would be suspicious of a company and product who based their success on users having to download a plugin. Even Macromedia would've been taking a slight risk with their development and promotion of Flash, but they made sensible moves, and things paid off. But a company who is relying on users downloading a plugin to view advertisements would surely have little chance of going places; especially when Flash has already done most of what this plugin is planning already.

Onflow Corporation is the company, and Onflow is the product. And yes, it's hard to believe, but they are honestly expecting users to download a 250K plugin, to view more ads. I don't know about you, but I'll avoid downloading the plugin and just hope that it means less ads while I browse...

In addition to that, it seems that the plugin is currently only available for Windows 95/98/NT. Apparently, they plan to release a plugin for Mac users in early May.

From the descriptions on the Onflow Web site, it sounds somewhat similar to Flash, but uses an online interface and application to generate the media files. Using the online application is free, but you must use the Onflow servers to serve your multimedia files, and pay for the privilege (on a pay-per-view basis).

The success of this product is likely to depend on plugin adoption, and if Onflow doesn't find itself included in future browser releases and computer installations, as accomplished by Macromedia Flash, then it may have trouble progressing.

One path that I'm sure they are considering is by jumping in bed with AOL. Provide AOL with their lovely new advertising or alternate content using the Onflow media format, and Onflow might ship with Netscape 6...

Is anyone interested in tainting their system with a doomed-plugin to check out the demo animations and let us know if they're anything special? Please comment below.

isaac