Tuesday, May 30, 2006
Way back in the mists of time, I read an article about some guys who were creating a thing called Netscape. Their vision was that everything would be done remotely through the web browser, preferably theirs. Sadly for them, Micro$oft muscled in and flattened the emerging competitor by bundling Internet Explorer with Windows. By the time the lawsuits finished, the damage had been done, and though Netscape is still around, it's use seems to be limited to die hard fans. But the vision has taken up by others, and slowly we are seeing seeing it come to the fore. Web 2.0 is the buzz nowadays, and though people's thoughts on what that term acutally means differ, everyone seem to agree it signifies a leap in how we use the internet. Online applications are growing in size and number. Online email has been around for years, but now we have online calendars, project managers, whiteboards, spreadsheets, word processers: the list goes on. Our online experience has gone from passive (browsing) to active (blogs, wikis, social bookmarking). Online storage is becoming cheaper, larger and easier to access, and eventually - if the rumours from Google and Microsoft are correct - infinite. So all the files you need are available wherever you are. I'm writing this piece using a web application called Zoho Writer, which means I can start it at work (in a break of course) and finish it at home, without having to send it in an email or transfer it by flash drive. When finished, I could publish it straight to my blog or a number of other locations. (The only drawback with Blogger being that I'd have to host any pictures separately or edit the post in Blogger to include the pics on Blogger's servers.) The ultimate end is being able to sit at any computer and have it look, feel and act just as if you were at home. There's still a long way to go, of course. People will be wary of placing their precious data into strangers hands, and the systems will have to be stable (Firefox crashed as I was finishing this). But then, we've put up with Windows all this time......
Posted by Aeowolf at Tuesday, May 30, 2006