San Diego based Goowy is a virtual desktop for office productivity as well as widgets. They were founded in 2004 so they've been at it a while and it shows. Originally funded by Mark Cuban in a seed round, today they announced that they have been purchased by and will become a wholly owned subsidirary of AOL.

From the start Goowy, has delivered a great experience and received sold feedback from the users and press alike (Techcrunch, ReadWriteWeb, Mashable, etc). Their widget platform is similar and useful to the mac widgets (though flash based) and the virtual desktop suite (also flash based) which includes email, calendaring, and more is surprisingly good. For a web app thats based on flash its impressive both how fast Goowy performs and also how good the UI is (it reminds me a bit of a cross-up of Outlook, mac Mail and iCal).

So what does AOL want with them? Well Goowy already provides widgets via the myAOL portal and as AOL continues to shift from a subscription based business model, to a media channel with revenue mainly from advertising, Goowy becomes a nice delivery platform. By using Goowy's technology, AOL can create a form of widget based advertising, that becomes more interactive (but hopefully not more annoying as well), as well as extend the myAOL services. How much, AOL guts the technology, versus lets Goowy continue on building what their virtual office productivity desktop out will remain to be seen, but regardless I'm sure this is great news for the Goowy folks who have ran a impressively lean operation.