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Wednesday, October 26th, 2005, 8:28 am

Windows and Web-based Software

Windows AJAX
Windows XP in AJAX

An article from CNN, which as expected does not descend to technicalities, explains why Web-based applications put Windows and Microsoft Office under realistic threat.

NEW YORK (AP) — A quiet revolution is transforming life on the Internet: New, agile software now lets people quickly check flight options, see stock prices fluctuate and better manage their online photos and e-mail.

Such tools make computing less of a chore because they sit on distant Web servers and run over standard browsers. Users thus don’t have to worry about installing software or moving data when they switch computers.

And that could bode ill for Microsoft Corp. and its flagship Office suite, which packs together word processing, spreadsheets and other applications.

The threat comes in large part from Ajax, a set of Web development tools that speeds up Web applications by summoning snippets of data as needed instead of pulling entire Web pages over and over.

One Response to “Windows and Web-based Software”

  1. sward Says:

    Ick, as much as I like the possibility of the weakening of Microsoft’s monopoly, I hate browser-based applications. Web-based apps are fine, but the notion that everything has to be done in a web-browser because it’s easily portable or similar makes me want to throw up. Is the browser our operating system / desktop environment now?

    Instead, we should be looking at portable frameworks. One recently popular effort already exists, Mono. I feel it has the wrong aims though — essentially to be .Net. It should leave those aims behind, let it diverge, and evolve free from the shackles that hold it down. Proponents like to think that it will get to a point where they will create something, and .Net will follow. I don’t believe that will happen, and I believe once they do something over .Net, they will either be breaking their aim anyway, or struggling to keep compatible with .Net, making it a bunch of ugly kludges.

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