it@cork are running a half day seminar on ASP.Net AJAX on Friday March 23rd. ASP.NET AJAX is Microsoft’s free framework for creating Web 2.0 sites which are cross-browser compatible (cross-browser, yes, from Microsoft!).
I have been asked to give a presentation, on Microsoft’s relevance in the Web 2.0 arena.
What do people think, are Microsoft a player in this sphere? They have Office Live, Windows Live Mail, MSN Spaces and they are a big supporter of RSS – it will be baked into the next versions of Internet Explorer (IE7), Office and Windows Vista.
Hell, Microsoft even have Atlas, a free framework for developing Ajaxy Web 2.0 applications!
AjaxWrite is free like the other online word processors but where it differs is that with AjaxWrite, you don’t save your documents remotely, you save them locally, on your own pc. This has significant cost saving implications for AjaxWrite and may mean that it will outlast some of its competitors.
However, when I tried to save my document – I got the following error:
This error happened both with documents of my own and with the default Welcome.doc which opens when you open AjaxWrite.
Yet another Google story (!) – this time Google have announced that they have bought Writely – I wrote about Writely previously, Writely is a browser-based word processor with all kinds of Ajaxy, starring, tagging and RSSy goodness!
This further strengthens Google’s hand in their ambitions to have everyone save all their info on Google servers.
Om Malik had a lovely graphic on his site (reproduced below) showing how Google’s online offerings are quickly catching up with Microsoft in terms of functionality and have the added advantage of being free –
Another key difference between Microsoft’s Office offering and Google’s offerings is that you save Microsoft Office documents on your computer (or the office LAN) primarily, whereas with Google’s offerings, you save on their servers so your documents are available to you wherever you have an internet connection.
Of course the downside of the data being on Google’s servers is the loss of privacy. If information is on your computer at home (tax returns, love letters, business records, financial/bank details medical files, etc.), a search warrant is required to access it – if it is on a Google server, a subpoena is all that is required to get your information and there is no requirement on Google to notify you of that subpoena before the information is handed over!
If Google were to stand by their motto of doing no evil, they should encrypt your data and store it encrypted on their servers with only you having the private key to unencrypt it.
In case you missed it, Google launched their online feed reader application Google Reader (in Beta) on Friday.
Google Reader has an amazing interface built in Ajax and uses a “Lens” analogy for reading feeds. I can’t help but think though that the interface actually sacrifices usability for looks. The interface seems, almost, to get in the way of the reading experience.
Susan Kuchinskas of internetnews.com, eWeek, Scoble and a bunch of others are all reporting that a Google-Sun alliance is set to announce a Google version of Microsoft’s Office suite of applications. Sun bring their much vaunted StarOffice codebase to this partnership while Google bring their experience of running massively trafficked web apps.
Google Office is a logical extension of the online Web 2.0 office apps I mentioned last week.
This development, when announced, has the capability to change radically the way people interact with their PCs (and could be an IT Manager’s dream – no more Office install or patch nightmares!).
The Sun/Google announcement was a bit of an anti-climax after all the rumours. The agreement is:
to promote and distribute their software technologies to millions of users around the world. The agreement aims to make it easier for users to freely obtain Sun’s Java Runtime Environment (JRE), the Google Toolbar and the OpenOffice.org office productivity suite, helping millions of users worldwide to participate in the next wave of Internet growth
So no Google Office – at least not yet anyway! Personally, I think yesterday’s rumour explosion was a kite flying excercise and that we will see a Google Office in the not too distant future for all the reasons expounded yesterday.
Tom Raftery – Global VP, Futurist, and Innovation Evangelist for SAP, inspirational keynote speaker, and global influencer's take on how digitization and innovation are creatively disrupting our world