don’t need Word anymore?

From Wired News.

Thursday, 22 February 2007

Worlds in Collison
Topic: Web/Tech
Boom goes “Office,” boom goes “Word”–Google is finally coming clean about its cloud-based assault on the PC desktop. Today’s launch of Google Apps Premier–fully supported, ready-for-licensing Web-based spreadsheets, e-mail and word processing–combines a technological watershed and a commercial broadside. Mountain View continues brodacasting wildly disengenous comments about not wanting to compete head-on for Microsoft’s billion-dollar-month Office franchise. CEO Eric Schmidt tells the WSJ (subscription required) that his company has no intention of coming up with a Web-based alternative to every little enterprise app–only those “used by every person in the company” (We’re not making this up). He also helpfully observes that “the two worlds will coexist for awhile.” Kind of like mainframes and PCs, eh Eric?

Much will be made of the alleged insecurity of Web-based software–as compared with, say, having employees toting the company jewels around in laptops? A better question is whether corporate chieftans will want trust their data to a company whose core skill is mining information. And one that is putting fingers into ever more pies.

The desktop may not not be dead, but it’s dying. And there’s one thing we know for sure about its network-borne successor: it will be vastly more powerful.

Follow the aftershocks at Techmeme.


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