Office 2.0, elastic compute clouds, Sony batteries and more...

Office 2.0, elastic compute clouds, Sony batteries and more...

Summary: This week on The Dan & David Show, David is vacationing with family in Maine, so I fly solo, but with a special guest in studio. Ismael Ghalimi is the co-founder and CEO of Intalio, an open source business process management company and the author of the IT Redux blog.

TOPICS: Microsoft

This week on The Dan & David Show, David is vacationing with family in Maine, so I fly solo, but with a special guest in studio. Ismael Ghalimi is the co-founder and CEO of Intalio, an open source business process management company and the author of the IT Redux blog. However, Ismael is not on the show to talk about BPM, BPEL or blogging. He is also the person behind the forthcoming Office 2.0 conference, which will be held October 11-12 in San Francisco. Speakers lined up so far include many of the people making the waves in the Office 2.0 space.

During the show we discuss the rapidly evolving category of browser-based, collaborative productivity applications (aka, Office 2.0), the alternatives to the super-dominant Microsoft Office suite. It's the heavyweight, feature-laden client apps vs. the lightweight, simpler Web apps--but, as Ismael said, it isn't a winner takes all contest. "Advanced users will keep using traditional office products for a long time," Ismael said.

For the last nine months Ismael has been exclusively using Office 2.0 services, such as Google Mail,, Dabble DB, Zoho Sheet, PXN8, CollectiveX and Flickr. Despite the naming convention, Office 2.0 is still in its 1.0 phase, but Ismael is betting that the Office 2.0 dream--a computer that nevers crash, no viruses or installs, accessible from any device--is getting closer to reality. Office 2.0 applications today might have 10 percent of the functionality of their rich client counterparts, Ismael said, but you can work from anywhere, collaborate more easily, mash up services and eventually you learn new ways of being productive.

We agree that Office 2.0 isismaelghalimi.jpg gaining momentum beyond email, but issues of performance, feature sets, offline synchronization, security and privacy remain barriers for many users and companies. We also agree that the subscription costs and billing mechanisms for Office 2.0 apps have to be sorted out, and that Microsoft will be a central Office 2.0 player. In addition, Web infrastructure services, such as Amazon's just announced Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2), presage the era of utility, cloud computing, in which users acquire compute services like electricity. "You have all the building blocks to build apps on line without having to invest in infrastructure," Ismael said.

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Topic: Microsoft

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  • I have serious doubts

    A significant issue I see with browser based apps, is that for you to make them match desktop apps, you will essentially need to turn the browser into an OS. So then you will wind up having computers with essentially two desktops: a traditional desktop, and one in the browser. Also, by the time browser based apps catch up with what desktop apps look like today, desktop apps will have evolved to having designs far more advanced than what they have now. Therefore you will end up with computers having two OSs, running browser based apps that resemble what desktop apps looked like a number of years before. Browser based apps would be like a man running after a train, with no hope of catching it.

    As I see it, with the shift on Windows having designers and UI specialists spearheading application design (particularly with 3D graphics), we will see significant UI innovation on the desktop. When you couple these with web services extensions, many people will not see the point of trying to do all but the more basic Internet applications in the browser. People really need to take a look at the many types of Rich Internet Applications that will be coming out, and see what they can do with them. RIAs will range from allowing you to create apps more advanced than many current day AJAX apps with great reach; to allowing you do highly sophisticated apps that include things like 3D visualization - though having reduced reach. The reaction over the release of Live Writer gave you a glimpse of how people will react to RIAs or desktop apps, having web services / Internet extensions ? as opposed to comparable browser based apps.
    P. Douglas
  • Where was Office 1?

    All the so-called Office web apps are a testament to what you can do when you don't have the tools. So we get stuck with rubbish like Ajax etc. Essentially its a BROWSER not an OS, and the so-called Web 2 apps are just above mickey mouse level.

    This is apart from the problems with performance, security, hosting and the "all my eggs in someone else's basket" approach.

    Coding apps in a browser is like doing neurosurgery with gardening gloves on and half your brain turned off.
  • Office 3.0

    What we need is an office 3.0. A web application, which is free, hosted on external servers but has the ability to keep files on your desktop PC and interacts with desktop software. The great thing about browser based apps is that we have spent so many years trying to make it compatible with everything, we now have the perfect platform to create a completely universal office.

    I?m very excited about where all this is going.
  • Thinkfree Office looks OK to me...

    I have been using Think Free Office (beta) for a while as I try to move from Windows to Linux.
    I edit and save online, but can open, edit and save a document on the local desktop as well. I has been great as I go back and forth between desktops, being able to read and save documents onto both desktops from the web.
    It has it's problems, but I find it quite handy, and it does everyting I want it to.
    Currently it saves in Microsoft formats only (DOC, XLS, PPT).