Thursday, October 12, 2006

Last hurrah for PC-based software?

The link above is to a CNet roundup of so-called "Office 2.0" stories. I thought you might want to see what is supposedly going to happen in that area.

To me, "Office 2.0" is so much hot air. The hype machine has once again gone crazy. That is the only explanation I can see.

The truth is that online applications are insecure and should be used only in extremis. They are useful, no doubt, but their use should be limited, even if they do overcome the problems of speed, which are so far very evident.

Applications served in a local area network might well be the shape of things to come. I've done that here at our home and at one client and it has proven marvelous, cutting support issues by a huge amount. I can see that, even without the idea of thin clients tightly locked down, for that one reason alone. But the rest of this "Office 2.0" stuff is suitable for enriching the cabbage patch and little else. Who wants their company documents out on the Internet? Who wishes to have to depend upon an Internet connection that may or may not be secure or fast enough to prevent waiting endlessly for things to happen?

Office 2.0 is a flawed concept as it is presented today. Something huge might come from it, but it is going to take a lot of careful experiment and thought, something the quick buck hype machine rarely puts into an idea. I hold little hope for it actually becoming both usable and pervasive. That is really only being sensible. It's not that I have an attitude that prejudices me to the concept. It's just that the Emporer has very few clothes on.


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