Crossloop is a new product that makes screen sharing easy. I heard about it through Mrinal Desai, and I’m trying it out over the next few days.

So far, I’m very impressed by the simplicity of the whole workflow. It’s been set up so that you just download and run the installer, and then when you run the program, you instantly get a window you can either type in a unique ID if you want to look at someone else’s screen, or if you change to the second tab, your own unique ID you can give out to other people to watch your screen.

I love that they’re taking a traditionally uber-geeky area, remote desktops, and democratizing the interface. They’ve removed all the config fluff that’s a barrier to 90% of computer users, and made it almost as simple as dialing a phone call.

That fits with my design philosophy, one that initially grew out of my experiences writing both console and PC games. Console games outsell PC games by an order of magnitude, even though PC games are often objectively better in graphics, and many console owners also have PCs. I grew to realize that PC games have a set of barriers that are invisible to most geeks, but almost insurmountable to the mass-market user. These are things like installing software, minimum requirements, and configuration.

With a console game, you insert the disk, hit the power button, and you’re in the game. It’s like a DVD player or any other consumer appliance, you know it will work instantly and every time. With PC games, you have to spend minutes at best installing onto your hard drive, and there’s always the chance that there’s a missing requirement or plain old driver problem that stops you dead.

Geeks love the flexibility of configuring apps, and thrive on the problem solving that ensues. Mass-market consumers want something that’s reliable and simple. That’s the real strength of web-based apps, no need for installation.

I’ll post a full review of Crossloop once I’ve had more experience with it, but my first impressions are very positive.

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