I was once persuaded to meet with a gentleman in a bar in mid-2002 to discuss a "revolutionary new" offering for small businesses: it turned out to be hosted Office, delivered via Citrix. "We can't understand why no one else is doing this," crowed the man and his business partner. I was obliged to explain that everyone who'd tried it already had only recently gone out of business.
Yet still they keep on coming. Every day, somewhere in the world, someone gets out of bed and thinks to himself, "I know, hosted applications for SMBs. It's obvious. There's such a gap in the market. How odd that no one else is doing it!"
The latest poor lamb to head for the application-hosting slaughterhouse is British integrator Extrasys, which IT Week's Martin Veitch reported yesterday has struck deals to "offer Microsoft Office, SAP, Oracle, Siebel, Sage and other software as a subscription service over the internet ... Users gain access to full applications streamed from a Citrix MetaFrame environment."
Being an experienced tech journalist who's seen it all before, Veitch points out that the concept was "largely unsuccessful" in the past. Extrasys, however, "believes that improved network performance and resilience as well as better understanding of the model means that its time has come."
It's astonishing. Really. I'm speechless. Will people never learn?