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Google vs. Microsoft On the Desktop

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  • Take away the cloud (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Darkness404 (1287218) on Thursday June 04, 2009 @11:45PM (#28218199)
    What I think would be best for Google would be to fork a version of OOo to include "Save to the cloud" support and integration with Google Docs. Along with integration with every e-mail client by using perhaps HTML e-mail or a plugin to enable Google Docs support. Create an iPhone app, plugins for MS Office, make it easy for anyone with any program to access and use Google Docs and it will succeed.
    • by aaron.axvig (1238422) <aaron@axvigs.com> on Thursday June 04, 2009 @11:53PM (#28218245)

      HTML is just another layer of abstraction. It could just as well be Java, or .NET CLR, or cross-compiled C++ (GIMP). There is nothing amazing about applications in a browser, it is not necessary, and while it is convenient at times (at a computer that is not your own), when available a native code app will usually do the same job but "better".

      As far as syncing, there is nothing stopping native apps from syncing to "the cloud". In fact, there is the Outlook Connector for Windows Live Mail and the Office Live tool for Word XP, 2003, and 2007. Also see IMAP and POP3. Oh, basically anything that doesn't go over port 80.

      Browser is not a necessity for productivity. Handy in cases, yes. Disclosure: I'm currently interning at MS.

      • by miffo.swe (547642) <daniel.hedblom@gmai l . com> on Friday June 05, 2009 @01:03AM (#28218651) Homepage Journal

        Getting rid of stupid clients would be godsent for any admin in the world. Having all applications in the browser would be a huge step forward.

        You try, getting three different clients working against a database from the same vendor working properly. They all crave different versions of dotnet, java or whatnot and any new version of the client software demands countless hours of testing just about every possible combination of apps. Upgrades are pure nightmare. Couple this with locked down desktops, profiles that has to be managed and policies that needs hard testing before you alter a single setting.

        Getting rid of all those problems alone would be worth serious money for any company. Added benefit would be that backend services would be totally decoupled from what OS the client runs. Microsoft will fight this for all they are worth.

        • by vtcodger (957785) on Friday June 05, 2009 @02:16AM (#28219003)

          ***You try, getting three different clients working against a database from the same vendor working properly. They all crave different versions of dotnet, java or whatnot and any new version of the client software demands countless hours of testing just about every possible combination of apps.***

          Thanks, no. Been there. Done That. You're right. It is a nightmare.

          But I'm curious why you think, as you apparently do, that switching to "the cloud" is going to be better. From where I sit, "the cloud" looks like a huge glob of poison gas. More standards than anyone can keep track of. But no one complies with them anyway. No discipline. Very little common sense. I suspect where the cloud is headed is a worse shambles than the current desktop plus latency and bandwidth problems. And security ... what security? Do people seriously think that "Never run as root" is going to prevent the ongoing security disaster?

          Fortunately, I am retired and no longer have to make a living fighting with computers. I have a lot of sympathy for those who are not as lucky. Fasten those seatbelts folks, the next couple of decades are going to be one bumpy ride.

          • by peragrin (659227) on Friday June 05, 2009 @06:34AM (#28220085)

            The cloud is the new THIN client. The browser is the new OS for said thin client.

            while different browsers do implement things differently, there is a standards running the whole show and an approval process. previous thin clients were proprietary in one form or another.

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            What is with all of you suggesting "the cloud - the cloud - the cloud" all the time. I don't trust you. Why should I? Why should I trust my colleague who wants to borrow my 16Gb flash drive because his doesn't have space, with my "classified" company information that I store on it? And now everyone's suggesting "the cloud - the cloud - the cloud" with GoogleDocs and OpenIDs.

            The cloud is NOT secure. Heck, not even passworded PDFs and DOCs are secure - forget about uploading it onto someone ELSES server and *

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by tclgeek (587784)

          Surely you must have meant to say "... huge step forward for admins".

          What many (most?) application developers forget is that applications exist to make end users more productive, not admins, and there are precious few web based apps that are better than their desktop counterparts.

        • by Colonel Korn (1258968) on Friday June 05, 2009 @09:31AM (#28221409)

          Getting rid of stupid clients would be godsent for any admin in the world. Having all applications in the browser would be a huge step forward.

          You try, getting three different clients working against a database from the same vendor working properly. They all crave different versions of dotnet, java or whatnot and any new version of the client software demands countless hours of testing just about every possible combination of apps. Upgrades are pure nightmare. Couple this with locked down desktops, profiles that has to be managed and policies that needs hard testing before you alter a single setting.

          Getting rid of all those problems alone would be worth serious money for any company. Added benefit would be that backend services would be totally decoupled from what OS the client runs. Microsoft will fight this for all they are worth.

          Getting rid of stupid houses would be a godsend for any contractor in the world. Having all people inside a mud hut would be a huge step forward.

          You try getting three different walls working against the same roof from the same floor working properly. They all crave different stud layout, nails or whatnot and any new wall demands countless hours of planning for just about every possible combination of other walls. Electrical is a pure nightmare. Couple this with locked doors, surfaces that need to be painted and building codes that need hard testing before you can finish a single room.

          Getting rid of all those problems alone would be worth serious money for any construction company. Added benefit would be that the extension cord used to steal electricity from neigbors would be totally decoupled from the type of mud hut. Legacy housebuilders will fight this for all they are worth.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by VGPowerlord (621254)

          Getting rid of browser clients would be godsent for any admin in the world. Having all applications as a native application would be a huge step forward.

          You try, getting three different web browsers working against a site using the same HTML/CSS/Javascript working properly. They all crave different versions of styles, scripts, tags or whatnot and any new version of any of the major browsers demands countless hours of testing for just about every possible combination of apps. Upgrades are pure nightmare. Cou

      • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

        by MaggieL (10193)

        You're interning at MSFT? Or internalizing? Both?

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward
        All platforms are "just another layer of abstraction". Windows for example. Of cource everything runs better if you write it all out in machine code and key it into memory directly, but that isn't practical in any sense. The purpose of a platform is to be the most efficient, direct translation of high level to low level code. .

        The reason that web applications have an advantage is primarily the platform on which they sit. They're compatible with all operating systems, portable, simple to build, and really
        • by Locutus (9039)

          that's why Microsoft does not like it. They must play here but like with MS-OOXML, they will do anything and everything they can to somehow tie it to Windows, to one software environment. After all, their profits and growth come from Windows and without Windows, they house falls down.
           

          LoB
           

        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by Mystra_x64 (1108487)

          They're compatible with all operating systems, portable, simple to build, and really really light weight.

          Yeah, right until "Your browser is not supported."

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by RudeIota (1131331)

        There is nothing amazing about applications in a browser, it is not necessary, and while it is convenient at times (at a computer that is not your own), when available a native code app will usually do the same job but "better".

        I think you already know this, but it's not about doing it better: It's about ubiquity.

        While I agree it's another "layer of abstraction", the point of using a browser is access from anywhere / anything. Whether it's a desktop, netbook, phone, Linux, Windows, Mac OS X, CISC, RISC etc.. you can potentially run whatever it is and have the same exact same experience on any platform. That's pretty cool.

        By using native applications, you just don't get that ubiquity. People also want stuff that just works... Us

        • With the idea of native apps not being practical for the purpose of ubiquity, one would probably point to cross-platform frameworks, like Java or GTK. That's fine and good, but these things require some "coaxing", if you will, especially in the UI department. A really simple app might be work just fine, but you have to be careful about using OS-specific functions and more complex programs sometimes need to be changed substantially. Applications that use web browser technologies don't really suffer from this.

          Sigh, it happens too often that people say "you have this problem with (C|C++|C#|GTK|Qt|$YOUR_FAVORITE_LANGUAGE)+ and Java".

          Java has webstart since 1.4 (2001) which uses JNLP (Java Network Launching Protocol ). From the desktop user's point of view.

          WS automatically downloads new versions of the software, checks java versions etc. If you want to see it work and you have Java installed (>=1.4) you can try these Java 3D examples [java.net] to see how the experience is.

          • by TheLink (130905) on Friday June 05, 2009 @06:04AM (#28219923) Journal
            > Java has webstart since 1.4 which uses JNLP...

            1) From a firefox user's PoV - it looks like "Opening a Program from a Website" which is what everyone keeps yelling at them NOT to do.

            2) It took me more than 5 minutes to download a simple program that just draws 3D spheres (from your link). Yeah I have a crappy connection, but I doubt "corporate" java apps are going to be small (and I've seen them being updated every few weeks - which means everyone has to redownload). They're fine over the LAN, but this Cloud thing...

            FWIW, I've tried the 4K java game stuff and many are great (and download quickly), but there are very few java programmers who can and will do that for "office/corporate apps".
            • Correction... (Score:4, Informative)

              by TheLink (130905) on Friday June 05, 2009 @06:12AM (#28219965) Journal
              Oh... looks like the 5 minutes was to download a new version of Java or something.

              And IE doesn't do that prompting, whereas Firefox does (at least on my setup).
              • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

                by bami (1376931)
                The thing I hate about webstart (happened to me at least), is that it really "installs" software, it adds registery keys and adds a program to the software panel in the configuration panel in Windows.
                I'm all for java or webapplications, but that is where it crossed the line for me. Not to mention the prompt in firefox.
              • [...]but I doubt "corporate" java apps are going to be small[...]

                I would think that in a corporate environment, that would not be such a big issue.

                Now, I'm not advocating to use ws/jnlp for everything, but for complicated graphical tools, why not? It's an alternative.

                Oh... looks like the 5 minutes was to download a new version of Java or something.

                I think that's a good point, one more deployment issue out of the way...

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by sorak (246725)
          I use four different computers on a weekly basis, and on one of them, I cannot install software. So, it's not just about platform. It's also about being able to go to any random "box" and access your documents.

          Of course I should probably use Google docs more, but my night job is teaching Office 2007, which means having to get used to all the changes they made since XP.

          Integration plugins would be nice, however. I am currently using ftp to sync the different systems, and would like something simpler.
      • by rtfa-troll (1340807) on Friday June 05, 2009 @02:21AM (#28219017)

        You are of course right in theory; But this is a typical case that "in theory theory is the same as practice; in practice things are different". HTML has somehow managed to get the right balance to be much better than other applications. Primarily, there are no viruses written in HTML and HTML+Java(ECMA)script has almost no practical viruses.

        The key advantages of HTML / ECMAscript / HTTP include

        • not blocked at the corporate firewall
        • has a subset which is pure data and easy to be sure is safe
        • has a subset which is compatible across many different platforms for many different years
        • is not controlled directly by a company with criminal tendancies

        Every other option has serious drawbacks

        • Java / .Net - too heavy; the minimal application requires loads of extra stuff
        • Java / .Net / C++ - non trivial to package.
        • C++ / .exe - too much history with trojans / too much incompatibility e.g. try developing one for Windows 200 working on Vista; compare with
        • Anything which doesn't go over ports 80 or 443 - blocked by the firewall
        • Anything containing executable content - blocked by the corporate mail filter
        • .Net stuff - doesn't run on out of the box Ubuntu or Macintosh / not cross platform.

        Disclosure: I'm currently interning at MS.

        your honesty is appreciated. When you are just starting in the job market, any good job seems like a good idea. Please remember you have years and years of work, ahead. Taking ethical choices is a seriously good idea. When your CEO is threatening your president with firing you [dailytech.com] then you seriously should consider if that's a company you want to work for.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Jurily (900488)

        As far as syncing, there is nothing stopping native apps from syncing to "the cloud".

        Except common sense, of course. I, for one, tell the new corporate overlords to stay out of my computer.

      • by Locutus (9039)

        native code might sometimes be optimal but guess what? A heck of a lot is good enough in a browser and that means it runs on nearly every device and not just the ones with the Windows logo on them. Look what happened to the netbooks when Windows got ahold of them. They got fat, they got shorter battery lives and they got more expensive. The OLPC XO is another example, Windows doesn't fit on everything but the browser does. Good enough.
         

        LoB
         

      • Collaboration (Score:4, Insightful)

        by drx (123393) on Friday June 05, 2009 @03:02AM (#28219179) Homepage

        If the cloud would only be about data storage there would be no advantage over a Desktop app that saves to my hard drive.

        However, Desktop Software is totally behind when it comes to collaboration. I have sent enough "DOCs" around and received them back and edited them again and sent them around again to understand that it sucks badly. I have enough of "can you send me the latest version of ..." and welcome online apps to solve this gigantic and ridiculous problem. Of course i would prefer to have Desktop apps that do the same thing, but as it seems at the moment nobody can get their act together and do real time collaborative Editing in a way that is more meaningful than Gobby. :)

    • by docbrody (1159409) on Friday June 05, 2009 @12:01AM (#28218289)
      But Microsoft people have a good point about the cloud. Forget speed, think about reliability. And by reliability of the cloud, I actually mean reliability of your internet connection.

      I think it will be a long time before the internet/cloud can compete with local internal storage. So for Google to compete, cloud features are an awesome additional feature, but to really succeed, I think they need to be able to go toe-to-toe with Microsoft on the desktop without requiring an internet connection.
      • Google have already started to tackle this one [google.com].

        Although it's got to be difficult to mirror all of the application logic offline, the Gears apps that I've used thus far make a valiant attempt, and seem to preserve the core functionality.

      • I think it will be a long time before the internet/cloud can compete with local internal storage.

        Yeah, tell that to the email clients...

      • But Microsoft people have a good point about the cloud. Forget speed, think about reliability. And by reliability of the cloud, I actually mean reliability of your internet connection. I think it will be a long time before the internet/cloud can compete with local internal storage. So for Google to compete, cloud features are an awesome additional feature, but to really succeed, I think they need to be able to go toe-to-toe with Microsoft on the desktop without requiring an internet connection.

        Google Gears pretty much takes care of the flaky connection problem. Keep a local cache, and sync everything when the Net connection comes back up.

        I would love to see Google Docs incorporated into OOo. I've tried an OOo plugin before that was supposed to save to and open from Google Docs...don't remember the name of it, but it kinda sucked anyway. Some enterprising Google engineer could probably whip up a solution in their 20% time, but I'd really love to see it as an official project.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by fractoid (1076465)

      What I think would be best for Google would be to fork a version of OOo to include "Save to the cloud" support and integration with Google Docs.

      "Save to the cloud"? Oh god, make the buzzing stop! You mean "add an option to OpenOffice to save your files to a remote server". Calling it "the cloud" is like calling the contents of your hard drive "cyberspace".

      • by drinkypoo (153816) <martin.espinoza@gmail.com> on Friday June 05, 2009 @12:37AM (#28218519) Homepage Journal

        It really is 'the cloud' though; face it, if you save to google you're saving to a cluster. You have no idea where your data is and you don't care. To say you're saving it to a server is a bit disingenuous. You might as well just draw the good old cloud and lightning bolt ala the network diagrams of old and leave it at that, in most situations.

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by lanswitch (705539)

          most people don't know what a server or cloud is. they don't even care. all they want is that they can find their documents.
          i guess it will go like this: "if i store it on the cloud/server/whatever, it's not always there, but if i put it in 'My Documents', it's always available. so i'll store it on 'My Documents""

          • by drinkypoo (153816)

            And then their hard drive takes a gigantic shit and they learn the value of a multi-tiered approach.

            On the other hand, always-on internet access is real for some people already.

            • by hairyfeet (841228) <bassbeast1968@@@gmail...com> on Friday June 05, 2009 @01:46AM (#28218841) Journal

              Actually even my 67 year old clueless dad has a USB external with one touch backup. Those things are really dirt cheap now and most folks have been burnt at least once in the past and are naturally a little spooked about losing all their stuff.

              Which kinda spooks me about this whole "push to the cloud" thing. Not only do you have the whole privacy issue, because you have no idea who is looking at your data, but lets be honest here, even Google has occasionally just went "oops, sorry about that" when it has come to folks data. I know I have Gmail go offline for a day or two at a time, and what if one of those days I had been on the road and having that data was "mission critical" for a job? And look at how many "web 2.0" style companies we have had go tits up in the past couple of years, and with the economy like this I would expect to see plenty more. When a company is struggling, which you may not even have a clue about, the odds that they are going to spend the money to do best data backup practices is virtually nil. Then what happens when the server dies, or the drive that contained your data goes tits up? "Ooops, sorry about that" as most of these companies have it in their TOS that they pretty much ain't responsible for jack.

              So no thanks. I can slap a cheap USB drive and back up my data anytime. I even have my data partitioned to where I can back up all the important stuff to DVD without having to back up the whole OS. I can encrypt the backups so nobody can use them but me, slap the USB or DVDs in my laptop bag and have them wherever I go, even if the place I end up at has "10k on a good day" dialup, which you'd be surprised how many places in the USA are still like that. So I think I'll just stick with what works no matter how good or poor a net connection I have tomorrow is, or without having to worry about whether or not the cloud company is doing well financially or using best backup and privacy practices. Call me weird but I like being in control of my data, thanks ever so much anyway.

              • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

                Actually even my 67 year old clueless dad has a USB external with one touch backup.

                I would argue that your dad is not clueless. Do you know why he does this? I know: He got burned before and that's how he learned he got to make backups. Since he learned he is by definition not clueless

                Give your old man some credit, okay?

                Oh, and as for a final remark... People have only started doing this the last few years (only those that got burned before, mind you) Before ubiquitous cheap USB harddisks, backup si

              • I seldom look to see if I have mod points - for this post, I looked. Saving to the cloud is all well and good, for convenience, I guess. But NOTHING beats the combined reliability and security of my own backups. When convenience takes a shit, that old reliable external drive is still sitting in the corner, or in the back seat, or under the airplane seat, whirring away, and waiting to go.

                Yeah, I do save some things to Gspace. But I certainly wouldn't save anything like a confidential industrial secret do

            • I'd have a permanent historical archive of everything I ever created or edited. My archive would be physically accessible to me and my designates alone.

              On an automated schedule, a complete backup copy of my archive would be stored on another physical device, again accessible only to me.

              Some subset of my archive would be synchronized to a cloud service, so I could get to my data from anywhere. Some smaller subset of that would be publicly available so I could share.

              Getting data into my archival stream woul

          • by syphax (189065)

            Or you use DropBox [getdropbox.com] which seamlessly syncs your local data with the "cloud" and whatever other machines you have.

            It's pretty sweet. Every photo of my kids I upload from a camera to my PC (OK, Mac) appears on the grandparents' PC (OK, that's a Mac too) shortly thereafter (Yes, I know I could just cron a unison job across a SSH tunnel to get a similar effect, but a) I'm too old for that crap and b) I want auto offsite backup).

          • by shawb (16347)
            Alternatively, they could use the "reasoning" of "You mean, if I downloaded up to the intarnetz I can get my stuff from school, my friend's house, or my iphone without having to figure out all those scary cables and thumbdrivamagiggers?"

            If your average person can't get access to their files because their internet connection is down... they just go do something else for a while. Your typical (or at least stereotypical) slashdotter should be able to find an alternative way to get internet access if the fi
          • by chabotc (22496) <(moc.liamg) (ta) (ctobahc)> on Friday June 05, 2009 @01:42AM (#28218823) Homepage

            The classic model where people only worked on and with local docs and programs is long gone for the newer generations, and without internet their 'computer is broken', since their facebook, favorite flash game, IM, email and home/search page all give weird error messages.

            That, plus the benefits of always having your documents with you no matter what computer and operating system they are using or what location they are at, and the ability to collaborate, share and publish are pretty strong arguments against the local 'My Documents' type model.

        • by drx (123393) on Friday June 05, 2009 @03:03AM (#28219185) Homepage

          Dude the main thing is that people click on an icon that shows a diskette!

      • by chabotc (22496)

        "Save to remote server" ?

        Personally I think that a end-user would be slightly confused by such mumbo jumbo, I mean, do you really know a lot of non-technies that know what a 'cervaaar' is?

        If such an option were to be added, please let it be called "Save it to Google docs" :)

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by fractoid (1076465)

          If such an option were to be added, please let it be called "Save it to Google docs" :)

          Yes please. We have enough mumbo jumbo, as you put it, without inventing new wannabe-cool terms for things.

      • Indeed, "Save to the cloud" should be renamed to "Vaporize".

    • OOo is not a good starting place. They already have chrome + gears, which is more than enough to use google docs by itself.

    • OOo has been able to 'save to the cloud' for a very, very long time. WevDAV was introduced many years ago, and works as well today as ever. It gives decent security, is quite reliable, and can be seen as a local drive on most modern OSs. (Sadly, even Windows Vista still needs NetDrive)

      Bottom line: there is no need to NOT save to the cloud in basically any program out there today, client-based or no, if you are at least somewhat intelligent about it.

  • by syousef (465911) on Thursday June 04, 2009 @11:58PM (#28218273) Journal

    Yeah developer candy is first on my list when looking at a product as an end user. I mean stuff security, reliability, etc. That's just all rubbish when I can make my developers even more diabetic.

    Who comes up with this nonsense?

    • If the developers ain't interested in developing applications for it, the end user has no reason to install it.
      • by syousef (465911)

        You're talking about hobby development.

        • by mcvos (645701)

          Not just that. Many developers prefer being paid for fun stuff rather than for boring stuff. It's certainly how I pick my jobs.

          Also, hobby development has actually gotten quite big over the last decade and a half.

    • by fabs64 (657132)

      Fact is fella the end users don't decide on frameworks. And while sometimes decisions like that are made higher up often it is at the whim of a developer.

      • by syousef (465911)

        You think for commercial software they decide what framework? You think in any environment other than hobby projects that the primary selection criteria is developer candy???

        • by fabs64 (657132) <beaufabry+slashdot,org&gmail,com> on Friday June 05, 2009 @12:41AM (#28218533)

          I am a commercial software developer.

          Think about it. Who generally has the expertise and trust of management to make such decisions? If developers don't have the most input they certainly do have a say that holds influence.

          'developer candy' can also be translated to 'lower barrier to entry' (cheaper programmers), 'faster ROI' (faster development for experienced programmers) and 'inherently higher quality' (larger cookie-cutter components)

          What do you think developers enjoy working with? Inconsistent rickety unstable messes?

          • by syousef (465911)

            What you're describing is not developer Candy. Developer Candy is a neat new scripting language or plugin that does something "cool".

            What you're describing is:

            - The Rapid Application Development paradigm which was too hastily abandoned.
            - Code stability/reliability/predictability.

            • by fabs64 (657132)

              HTML5 is a new scripting language? Or a plugin that does something "cool"?

              That's user candy fella.

              I pretty clearly was not describing a paradigm, I was simply pointing out that things developers like tend towards faster development leading towards faster roi.

              • by syousef (465911)

                HTML5 is a new scripting language? Or a plugin that does something "cool"?

                Misrepresenting what I was saying in order to ridicule it is just weak. You know perfectly well I was giving examples of what I consider developer candy and that I was not saying HTML5 is a scripting language.

                That's user candy fella.

                An Eclipse plugin is user candy?

                I pretty clearly was not describing a paradigm, I was simply pointing out that things developers like tend towards faster development leading towards faster roi.

                You're not c

  • by bogaboga (793279) on Friday June 05, 2009 @12:05AM (#28218303)

    To give Microsoft something to seriously think about, Google needs an OS on the desktop. Android is a good start in my opinion. There are some efforts [arstechnica.com] in this direction already. The good thing is that Android eschews X, which is a pain to work with in its current form.

    Next, they will need [meaningful] applications that work no matter what platform one happens to be using.

    Third, targeting Microsoft must not be the aim, it must be the unplanned outcome. The aim must be tp "please" we the users.

    That way, Google will succeed on the desktop.

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by node 3 (115640)

      This:

      Android eschews X

      and this:

      Third, targeting Microsoft must not be the aim, it must be the unplanned outcome. The aim must be tp "please" we the users.

      Are the two most critical things that needs to happen for Linux to begin to take on significant market share. These are two of the biggest influences on the increasing success of Mac OS X.

    • by chabotc (22496) <(moc.liamg) (ta) (ctobahc)> on Friday June 05, 2009 @01:53AM (#28218857) Homepage

      That's entirely missing the point. HTML5 gives you a very nice toolkit for building web apps allowing you full access to the computers computing resources with web workers (threads), storage and caching and graphics through canvas and even 3D graphics through O3D. The speed of the platform has also increased tremendously, in a year it's pretty much tripped thanks to FF3.5, Safari 4, Opera and Chrome. (and other goodies like location and no-plugin-required video playing)

      The end result is that a web app can now approach a desktop app in features and speed, and with that you can finally stop worrying about what OS people run, that's becoming irrelevant, as long as they have a modern browser that supports HTML5, they can run your app. It also means that if you have a great idea, you can code it up and deploy it to everyone with a modern browser without having to ship a single CD or making a user go through a installation process

      Forget about the OS, it's all about the apps! :)

  • by gcnaddict (841664) on Friday June 05, 2009 @12:17AM (#28218367)
    Microsoft actually contributed lots to HTML 5, at least according to Chris Wilson (Software Architect for IE)

    In effect, it's like semi-Microsoft v. completely-Microsoft. (food for thought)
    • by pizzach (1011925)
      You better be careful. The people who think that W3C has no relationship with MS/IE and that it only does things to hurt IE will get mad. :-p
    • Microsoft actually contributed lots to HTML 5, at least according to Chris Wilson (Software Architect for IE)

      Someone had to introduce problems, incompatibilities, and inconsistency or it wouldn't be a proper standard.

    • by node 3 (115640)

      I'm not sure what you're getting at. If the idea was W3C vs MS, you'd have a point, but this is Google vs MS. The fact that Google is using a tool that is being developed with help from MS is somewhat ironic, but doesn't make this a "semi-Microsoft v. completely-Microsoft" battle any more than the Japanese attacking China with gunpowder weapons is "semi-China v. completely-China".

    • by chabotc (22496)

      If only IE would support silly little things like the canvas and video tags, or have proper SVG support for that matter.

      They have stated they intent to support HTML5, but I'm still waiting for this to actually take shape (hope they will!)

  • Gary Edwards? (Score:5, Informative)

    by bmo (77928) on Friday June 05, 2009 @01:52AM (#28218855)

    Hey, uh, wasn't he one of the ones that threw a tantrum (along with sam and marbux) when he didn't get his way with preserving Microsoft "dark matter" (undocumented RTF encoding) in ODF and then proclaimed that ODF is doomed to fail and all that nonsense when everyone told him to stuff it where it doesn't shine??

    I am shocked. Simply shocked to see that he's extolling Microsoft's "virtues".

    Nothing to see here, folks, just another softie trying to sabotage open standards by throwing chairs at it.

    --
    BMO

  • OS-less netbook (Score:2, Interesting)

    by OutputLogic (1566511)
    Hypothetically speaking, if there is a powerful Java processor [wikipedia.org] that runs Java Virtual Machine (JVM) in hardware, and a browser application written in Java, you'd get an OS-less netbook [wikipedia.org]

    - OutputLogic [outputlogic.com]
  • Google dont need to displace Microsoft from the desktop. What google is doing is displacing the desktop itself. Once you have the same info and roughly the same functionality from your cellphone, netbook, computer, gaming device, whoever else computer and so on, "Desktop" is becoming meaningless. Microsoft must give away the desktop and embrace the cloud to have any chance, just because it isnt a battlefield anymore.
  • Chrome. Safari. Firefox.

    "The edge of the web."

    God alone knows what that means. Market share dominated by the home user and the enthusiast. Chrome very immature.

    Internet Explorer. The browser you use at work. Rich tools for deployment and management by the system administrator...

    In the simplest terms:

    You can build a business ground up from the loading dock and point of sale to the clerks in accounting to the guys and gals in middle management and the executive suite and never leave the working environmen

  • by caywen (942955) on Friday June 05, 2009 @02:46AM (#28219105)
    Isn't the deskop really just the next evolution of the cloud? Once the desktop becomes an active participant in the cloud? I think the next step will simply be to make all your desktop apps available anywhere. We're just about there already with remote desktop connections. Isn't the path of remote desktops and virtualization just as valid a distributed computing model? In the future, there might be so much bandwidth and parallel computing power available, a single server could serve remote connections to thousands of simultaneous virtual Win7/OSX/Linux machines. And you won't have to actually rewrite OpenOffice 10.0 for web.
  • by Nicopa (87617) <nico.lichtmaierNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Friday June 05, 2009 @03:34AM (#28219319)

    The standard desktop is better than Google desktop. Yes, everybody says, to put Google in a good light: "standard compliant" browsers, but that means nonstandard compliant mail, nonstandard everything else. We won't own software, we'll be always customers, dumb terminals, served from huge company's "clouds". Free software will be over, irrelevant. We won't be able to improve and modify our environment, we can't improve Gmail ourselves, there's no alternative/better/innnovative client for Gmail.

    Economic forces are taking technology down a terrible path. The past is better: a world of protocols, servers and clients. A common neutral space...

    The "portable" desktop, having your data everywhere should be solved by other means... I don't know, perhaps we should have personal servers, or at least we should contract personal servers from some kind of "personal server providers", which should be a standard and non-monopolistic thing. The "presence providers" envisioned by the XMPP protocol comes to mind...

    • The standard desktop is better than Google desktop. Yes, everybody says, to put Google in a good light: "standard compliant" browsers, but that means nonstandard compliant mail, nonstandard everything else. We won't own software, we'll be always customers, dumb terminals, served from huge company's "clouds". Free software will be over, irrelevant. We won't be able to improve and modify our environment, we can't improve Gmail ourselves, there's no alternative/better/innnovative client for Gmail.

      (emphasis mine)

      The points in boldface are a reason to side with the Open Source community. Neither Google nor Microsoft is any help on these aspects. And IMHO Ubuntu and similar systems are already quite usable for most purposes.

    • Perhaps this is where social networking sites will evolve to: service providers for our information. It wouldn't be that greater step for the facebooks and myspaces of the world to add a bunch of servers and rent space on them with interfaces that can interact with cloud services. After all, it seems that most people already have an account and use it in order to store various photos and information about themselves.

      If the technology for interacting with the cloud is open and well documented it'd make sure

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 05, 2009 @06:05AM (#28219925)
    Oh come on, Timmothy. Edwards has already been discredited for his astroturfing fake ODF news which he ran under the "Foundation" he's now moved his shit to Facebook and others. His foundation actively lobbied against ODF [robweir.com]. He was a shill then, or at least one of Bill's "Useful Idiots", and he's the same now.
  • This comment says almost nothing:

    The Office game is almost over, OOO is good enough, and existing anti-trust, most recently in Russia increases the challenge.

    AD and Exchange are currently coporate lock-ins and the Open Source community must look for its commercial partners, Google, IBM and Oracle to help fund drop-in replacements.

    It is very unlikely that MS will get a lot of traction with a new proprietary program, especially outside the USA
  • by SlappyBastard (961143) on Friday June 05, 2009 @12:15PM (#28223861) Homepage
    Does anyone on Slashdot ever feel just the slightest bit retarded for being reflexively anti-Microsoft?

The opposite of a correct statement is a false statement. But the opposite of a profound truth may well be another profound truth. -- Niels Bohr

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