Forgot your password?
typodupeerror

Microsoft Ex-Chief to Launch Web-Based Software 102

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the friendly-neighborhood-startup dept.
prostoalex writes "Search for Paul Maritz and you're most likely to find Microsoft references. However, next month his new venture, PiCorp will start distributing Web-based software applications that might compete directly with Microsoft offerings. Former Microsoft exec also has an opinion on the future of software industry: '"The strength of the PC is also its weakness," Maritz says. "People don't want a single dedicated computer. They don't want their whole lives bound up in one piece of hardware. People want to get access wherever they are, from whatever device they're using."'"
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Microsoft Ex-Chief to Launch Web-Based Software

Comments Filter:
  • Yeah . . . (Score:5, Insightful)

    by base3 (539820) on Sunday June 25, 2006 @12:50AM (#15599309)
    . . . I might not want my life "bound up" in one piece of hardware, but I sure don't want it depending on paying some "service provider" every month while they share my files with every three letter agency, investigator, advertiser, and anyone else under the sun who will pay, either. I'll stick with open source software running on my desktop for my personal files, thank-you-very-much. If I need to not be "bound up," I'll VNC in over SSH.
    • by khasim (1285) <brandioch.conner@gmail.com> on Sunday June 25, 2006 @12:57AM (#15599329)
      I agree with not wanting my data on-line.

      But with the price of USB drives so low now, why not just encrypt your important data on one of those? That's what I do.

      That way, I have a copy on my home machine and a copy with me if I need it.
      • by CodeBuster (516420) on Sunday June 25, 2006 @01:22AM (#15599389)
        The USB thumb drive is vulnerable to the same types of boot sector viruses and trojan loaders that were making the rounds back when 3.5" floppy disks were in more common use. In fact, there is a recent example, discussed right here on Slashdot, concerning a computer security company which designed just such a virus to show a client how an attack, when combined with a clever bit of social engineering (i.e. the free stuff gambit), could be accomplished. If you are plugging your USB thumb drive into unknown hosts as you go about your day then you are asking for trouble.

        Social Engineering w/USB Drives [slashdot.org]
        • by Anonymous Coward
          What about putting knoppix on a usb drive along with your data, and when you want to use a machine just reset it, alter its bios options (if necessary) to allow booting from a usb device, plug the bugger in and off you go? If windows is the weak link allowing virii and other nasties to get onto your usb drive, then why not just avoid it? Sure, not every site will allow you to do stuff like that, but if you set your device to read only before plugging it into a windows machine, email any changes you make to
        • by Clovert Agent (87154) on Sunday June 25, 2006 @03:17AM (#15599636)
          It wasn't a virus, it was a trojan. Important difference, because it could not, as you suggest, somehow spread to other usb devices. The point was that they gave away free USB disks with the trojan on it, and waited to see how many people would run it. Lots, unsurprisingly.

          Yes, a virus could target removable media and files on a USB drive could be infected. But that's ok, because you're keeping your own AV up to date, right? Also, depending on how you're mounting the encrypted data on that USB drive (because you are encrypting it, right?) the virus may not be able to write to it at all. If you're mounting the device as a drive/mount point, then it probably will, otherwise probably not.
        • I don't see the problem. It's not as if code on a USB stick is run automatically when you plug it in. The article you linked to involved putting a malicious executable on a USB stick and relied on a user picking the stick up and running the executing the file manually.
        • USB drives do not autorun stuff. You can have stuff installed on your computer that autorecognizes something on your USB drive. But thats a program already running so to speak.

          There are scenarios, but i wouldn't call them Trojans since they all involve secondary programs.
      • It seems that making portable apps is a better business idea (and a throwback to the DOS days!). Instead of making a web app why not make a portable office which can run completely from a USB drive.
      • Hard drives and blank media are so cheap right now, I don't see why people would need to store their backups online. I bought two 250 gig Western Digital SATA2 harddrives for exactly $200 Canadian ($100 each), and thats after adding the 15% sales tax (I live in Ontario). I also bought a spool of 100 blank Maxell DVD+R's for ~$33 after tax. It cost me more to buy the 100 empty slim cases than the 100 blank dvds oddly enough.
      • Regardless of how secure your storage medium is you are going to want a copy somewhere that is up to date and that you are not going to lose (after all losing your USB key may not expose your data to others but it will make it unavailable to you). That's without going into the likelihood that when you need access to your data on that USB key the PC you have access to wont have USB or it will be disabled...

        Moving on; Synchronising data may be is fairly trivial now, so having multiple secure copies of your da
      • What if the other machine doesn't have the same apps? What about your dekstop settings and profile? How about importing your email and todo list from Outlook?

        I was thinking of starting an opensource project for this but its in overhead my head until I learn more programming.

        It would be cool if that could be a reality with thumb based apps like pocketFirefox and desktop syncronization. Then each computer is yours while you use it. The hardware would be hidden like plumbing when you use a sink.

        I have a feelin
    • by r00t (33219)
      Normal people don't do weekly off-site backups or verify that the backup media is readable on some other computer. (if you don't do this, quit being so damn smug) Normal people don't do any backups at all.

      Normal people buy a new PC when the old one is bogged down with spyware, useless toolbars, and a spamming engine. They buy what is on sale at Walmart. This new PC does not include the user's old data files! The old PC may be kept around for access to these files, which could be printed on the $20 inkjet us
    • You're being pretty short-sighted if you think this is a trade-off most people don't want to make. Let's poll the average office worker: how many of you have emailed a document to yourself? Ok, how many of you have used SSH or SFTP? Exactly. All services have a trade-off like this. I go out to a restaurant, even though they could piss in my food, because I don't have time to cook tonight and odds are nothing horrible will happen.
    • Consider that there are those of us that run a server on a home network. The home server is very useful to have application run on the web within the home. Perhaps, the intention of the article appears to require some external service you have to pay for in order to get this functionality home. Surely, with a home server that hosts such web application, this is not the case, and we can do it freely at home without some extra pay service. How many people do you know run their own mail server and access it an
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 25, 2006 @12:54AM (#15599321)
    I have only one piece of hardware, you insensitive clod.
  • They don't want their whole lives bound up in one piece of hardware. People want to get access wherever they are, from whatever device they're using.

    This guy have a daughter ?
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 25, 2006 @01:00AM (#15599334)
    PI (pronounced "pi," like the number) has 50 employees and is headquartered in Bangalore, India. Its 15 founding executives

    15 executives to 50 workers! I wonder how many qualify as managers? 40? I don't expect to see much coming out of this company.
  • What they want ... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Quiberon (633716) on Sunday June 25, 2006 @01:00AM (#15599336) Journal
    Games consoles for playing games. Linux-based servers for 'domestic infrastructure'. Networked DVD players running whatever the DVDCCA want to play DVDs. Wireless 'Joe 90' glasses with projection keyboards for expressing themseleves creatively at work.

    No Windows in the vista. All of those that are going to be sold, have been sold. Microsoft should stick to xBoxes.

  • Nonsense! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Jerry Coffin (824726) on Sunday June 25, 2006 @01:08AM (#15599359)
    People don't want a single dedicated computer. They don't want their whole lives bound up in one piece of hardware.

    This, of course, is why people own iPods, PDAs, cell phones that store dialing lists, etc. They can decide on the type of machine that's best suited to storing particular data.

    At least to me, his service doesn't seem like much of an improvement on that. In fact, it seems to do rather the opposite: while I suppose with his service, my data might be spread across a bunch of machines in a web server farm (plus back end servers, etc.) it all looks and acts like it's on one centralized computer.

    I have a small number of devices, each with a particular purpose. He probably has more devices, but they all seem to have the same purpose: taking my money, while reducing functionality.

  • by QuantumG (50515)
    Does anyone actually think the "net cafe" is going to be a mainstay of our society?

    I already carry a usb drive on my keyring. So do a lot of other people. My iPod can also store files, etc. Isn't it more plausible that people will soon run virtual machines off their (possibly wireless) portable storage devices?

    Needing net to access your files, what a great idea.
    • Re:Meh (Score:3, Insightful)

      by 0racle (667029)
      Does anyone actually think the "net cafe" is going to be a mainstay of our society?
      The only reason it isn't now is because North America is affluent enough to have most households have their own and it is an extension of the same 'needs' that drive everyone to believe they must own a car and must own a house and must own this or that to be successful in their life.

      Net cafes do very well in just about every other country with decent internet access.
      • it is an extension of the same 'needs' that drive everyone to believe they must own a car and must own a house and must own this or that

        Like the tragedy of the commons?
    • Re:Meh (Score:4, Interesting)

      by generic-man (33649) on Sunday June 25, 2006 @01:25AM (#15599399) Homepage Journal
      Not really. Net cafes are still pretty expensive for doing any amount of work and you have no idea how much spyware (including keyloggers to catch you entering your passwords for PiSoft JavaScriptyGoodness BETA) is on the machines. For the traveling hipster who needs to upload some new pics to his Flickr account, sure, the Net cafe will remain a useful tool. For businesspeople who actually care about security, the corporate laptop with VPN client will continue to be the weapon of choice.
  • by jt2377 (933506) on Sunday June 25, 2006 @01:10AM (#15599367)
    Weeeeee!!!!!!!! the wheel goes round and round.
  • Really? (Score:4, Informative)

    by Don'tTreadOnMe (686201) on Sunday June 25, 2006 @01:12AM (#15599370)
    "People don't want a single dedicated computer."

    Actually, I like having all of my stuff in one place...

    • Actually, I like having all of my stuff in one place...

      Me too, I also like being able to get to it easily. I have a mail archive behind a firewall for stuff I don't need to access often. Current mail is done through my school's IMAP, which also makes archiving as easy as drag and drop. The rest of my PIM stuff has been moving toward my cable box, thanks to KDE's solid sftp PIM hooks.

      KDE's awesome Kontact has really presented an easy way to share your stuff with yourself and others. The version curre

  • More toy web apps (Score:3, Insightful)

    by sco08y (615665) on Sunday June 25, 2006 @01:14AM (#15599374)
    I predict that when they release their "office suite" that it will be exactly the same as Google's offerings. And I predict that credulous reporters will pass on the claim that they have 99% of the core functionality that Office users need, while eliminating all the worthless features.

    You know, things like a decent set of formulas in your spreadsheet and style sheets in your word processor.
    • by free space (13714) on Sunday June 25, 2006 @02:49AM (#15599546)
      From the article
      the software will let people share and access their information without having to know where a certain e-mail or photo is stored

      from that, and from the diagram here [picorp.com] I'm guessing that they are developing an API for 'peer to peer' web applications, i.e the applications are distributed over multiple servers and hosting companies but to each other and to the programmer they're part of the same environment.
      Also, they seem to depend on search a lot, and want to use it instead of traditional databases. This makes sense since a distributed application wouldn't be written to connect to a hardcoded address but to request some piece of information "wherever it is".

      Whether in practice that's a good or bad idea remains to be seen, but it is interesting.
  • I find Alexis Smirnov.

    What a great opportunity for a "In Soviet Russia..." post.
  • Security? Privacy (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward
    People also want security and privacy for their data, two things you put seriously at risk when you entrust your data to others. No thanks.
  • Read, the article, saw the hype. I hope he succeeds, but he's got a very big uphill battle ahead of him -- the author of that article didnt even visit that issue...
  • From TFA:
    People don't want a single dedicated computer. They don't want their whole lives bound up in one piece of hardware.

    Also, people generally tend not to care about their sensitive data? Web-based software delivers even more ways to hijack it, as not only it is insecure while being transfered between two computers (that is a problem that can be fixed with, say, GPG [gnupg.org]), but also while being edited. Ok, your may encrypt it, but never the less the crackers will get quite more samples of your encrypted d
    • Also, people generally tend not to care about their sensitive data?
      Actually, the average person doesn't give a hoot at all about security. They just care that they can get to their stuff. The average user most likely isn't going to understand that this "service/software" doesn't work off their machine.

      But keep in mind that it will impact the performance of their main device.
      Maybe not. Others upthread made a good point about how it appears that this "is an API over a peer to peer network". If that wa

  • "We may do an open-source version of some elements of our software, as a way of allowing more people to benefit from and contribute to that particular area of functionality. But in general we are not an open-source play," Maritz says.
    ...
    "The battle is shifting beyond Windows and Linux," he says. "Google isn't concerned about what executes down on the client machine, whether it's Windows or Linux. The action has moved up a level....It's occurring in applications that reside in the broader Web. The interes

  • Makes me think (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Bombula (670389) on Sunday June 25, 2006 @01:45AM (#15599443)
    I'm not so sure about the whole 'tied to one piece of hardware' bit, but Google is definitely proving that the industry is shifting from a product emphasis to a service emphasis. And as one previous poster pointed out, privacy is probably the biggest concern there.

    My question is, what kind of services qualify for government snooping? Sure, if you use a service that involves storing your files on, say, Google's servers, well then government agencies can just demand that Google provide your info to them. But what if a company just provides a service to connect you to your own storage servers? Would that change things?

    We need to undertstand where the boundaries lie on personal property. Take the brick-and-mortar analogy: if you own your home, nobody is supposed to be able to just come in a rifle through your stuff (I think the PATRIOT Act changes that, actually, but be that as it may), whereas if you rent an apartment you have far less protection. Even if you own an apartment inside a building, I doubt you get the same protections as if you own the land as well. The parallels to owning/renting/leasing servers are obvious. Are there any folks out there who know about the legality involved?

    So, should we all be running file servers off our home PCs and just using service providers to access our own actual server via whatever device we're using, or is it enough to own one that's running at your web hosting company?

    • Re:Makes me think (Score:4, Insightful)

      by ClosedSource (238333) * on Sunday June 25, 2006 @02:01AM (#15599473)
      "I'm not so sure about the whole 'tied to one piece of hardware' bit, but Google is definitely proving that the industry is shifting from a product emphasis to a service emphasis."

      I'd say that the same media band-wagon jumpers from the heady dot-com era have decided that Google is a sure thing. What I don't see is any great reduction in desktop application sales in favor of web services. That day may indeed come, but there's little evidence of it today.
  • by l3v1 (787564) on Sunday June 25, 2006 @01:54AM (#15599460)
    whole lives bound up

    I'd very much more prefer my whole life bound up to pieces of hardware that are mine, than "trusting" it to some company whom I cannot influence, can change policies and terms as they see fit, have usually some obscure and ignorant thinking about "Security" and "privacy" as such, and have no control over, thankyouverymuch. Especially if that company has a leader with such a long term "education" in MS's way to see and do things.

    • So I'll assume you have all your money stored in your mattress and not locked up with some company that you have to "trust". Also, I bet you have never used web based software to do your taxes. Credit cards? That's for those who want to give away all their freedom to companies that sell any and all your information to the highest bidder. Right?

      Yeah, I thought not. Welcome to the 2000's. You are already trusting your life to companies. It's just a matter of whether this company is really trustworthy.
  • Bastards. (Score:1, Troll)

    by Tim (686)
    From the article:

    PI (pronounced "pi," like the number) has 50 employees and is headquartered in Bangalore, India. Its 15 founding executives--whose ranks include nine Microsoft veterans--are strung around the globe, in Dubai; Florence, Italy; Dublin, Ireland; Paris; London; and Montreal.

    Cute. Why bother outsourcing, when you can just build the company in India, and make your rich cronies richer, while they live the good live in first-world countries?

    For once, I find myself hoping that Microsoft kicks a sta
    • Re:Bastards. (Score:3, Interesting)

      by univgeek (442857)
      Yeah! Why would we want to buy Coca-Cola, Nike, or Mattel? Oh hey, perhaps we shouldn't use any IBM or Sun products because they're made by an American company. And Boeing, Ford, GM and Chrysler can go to hell too!

      An Indian.
      *****

      Grow the hell up. Web-services can be anywhere and cater to anyone (speed of light/latency permitting). And who's to say none of the 'founding executives' are Indian? And you think only the blessed United States is in need of web-services?

      And when you're starting your own company, y
      • Re:Bastards. (Score:2, Flamebait)

        by Tim (686)
        Grow the hell up....when you're starting your own company, you may find you can provide services at a lower cost if you base yourself out of India (or China, or ...), and that's what you need to get into the market. And an Indian can write just as good LAMP or .NET code as anyone else.

        And when you do realize this, I hope you remember to get some equity and a piece of the *rich cronies'* pie! And yeah, life's pretty good even in our part of the world.

        If "your part of the world" is India, then yeah, I guess t
        • Re:Bastards. (Score:4, Insightful)

          by MarkWatson (189759) on Sunday June 25, 2006 @09:59AM (#15600515) Homepage
          Wow Tim, that was quite a little rant. Have you ever been to India? (If not, I have some travel photos at http://flickr.com/photos/mark_watson/sets/1622965/ [flickr.com] - enjoy :-)

          Seriously, India has been investing heavily in education for decades, and they are justifiably reaping some well deserved benefits from that policy. Overall, I had a very positive feeling about India and the people there.
          • Re:Bastards. (Score:4, Interesting)

            by Tim (686) <timr@a[ ]ni.wash ... u ['lum' in gap]> on Sunday June 25, 2006 @03:30PM (#15601748) Homepage
            Wow Tim, that was quite a little rant. Have you ever been to India? (If not, I have some travel photos at...enjoy :-)

            Those are great snapshots, Mark. They really change the substance of my argument. After all, a few vacation photos tell the whole story of India better than the many [unicef.org], many [bbc.co.uk], many [cdc.gov], resources that tell us that India is a third-world country.

            India has one of the worst infant mortality rates on the planet, they have a sickening gap between rich and poor, they have high rates of diseases that are all but eradicated in the first world, and they have...suburbs in Bangalore.

            The reality of the situation is very simple: labor in India is cheap because it is a very poor country. They have abysmal standards for public health, medicine and sanitation, and tens of thousands of people die every year from diseases that are completely preventable. International aid organizations funnel billions of dollars a year into the country to fight things like polio and malaria, and meanwhile, the Indian goverment spends massive amounts of money on technical education that benefits only a relative few members of the highest castes.

            It would be easy for the USA to compete on cost of labor, if we allowed our infrastructure to degrade to match that of a third-world country. If we stopped filtering our water, treating our sewage, and housing our homeless (just in the poor regions, of course), we could save billions on taxes. Then, we could deny higher education to 2/3rds of our students, label them as "laborers" or "merchants" and tell them that they could never aspire to a higher standard of living, due to birthright. Think of the savings!

            Yessir, we could make those changes, and we would almost certainly become internationally "competitive"...I wonder why we don't?
            • Sure Tom. Of *course* India is a third-world country. India is *also* a first-world country in some areas. And India NEEDS to have first-world technology.

              You seem to believe that we chose to forgo health, education, housing, and infrastructure *just* so that we could compete better with the first-world countries. I wish that were true. Then we'd just shoot those idiots and chose health, education, housing, and infrastructure and be ready for our first-world experience.

              Get a grip. The only way that India is
              • by Tim (686)
                First off, it's Tim, not Tom. If you want me to take your opinion seriously, do me the courtesy of not misspelling my name.

                Now...

                You seem to believe that we chose to forgo health, education, housing, and infrastructure *just* so that we could compete better with the first-world countries.

                No, that's not what I said at all. I said that your labor is cheap because your nation doesn't invest nearly the amount of money that first-world nations do on annoying little things like sanitation and public health. Di
                • Sorry Tim, before my morning tea.

                  At no point of time in recent Indian history has there been a fiscal position in the central government where Indian health/education/shelter issues could be wiped out simply by the government allocating the resources correctly. I think you may be underestimating the level of poverty in India.

                  You must understand that the resources available to the government are quite small in comparison to the number of things to do. One choice was to lead in education - hoping that technol
        • But from my perspective, you need doctors and mosquito nets a hell of a lot more than you need .NET programmers.

          And we need .NET programmers to pay taxes so we can pay doctors and buy mosquito nets.
          And yes, Let's try not to let fact interfere with our rant here, OK?
    • I find myself hoping that Microsoft kicks a startup's ass in the marketplace....

      Don't worry, they will

      -a.d.-
  • by bigtrike (904535) on Sunday June 25, 2006 @01:56AM (#15599468)
    "People want to get access wherever they are, from whatever device they're using."

    He's right, and that's why web based software will continue to fail. You can't use it in places without internet access.
  • "People want to get access wherever they are, from whatever device they're using."

    People don't want to just access information, they want to use it, modify it, create it, etc. The best platform for doing that is the PC. The fact that a web application is running in a browser doesn't make it any less PC-bound.

    Sure you can run a browser on a cell phone, but in practice it's not very useful. In fact, the browser is usually the least effective "application" that a cell phone has. The problem is that devices wit
    • The fact that a web application is running in a browser doesn't make it any less PC-bound.
      EXACTLY! This whole "web-based" revolution just has this whole "I have some lake-front property on Mars I'd like to sell to you for a hundred bucks" feel to it.
  • Maritz Needs A Clue (Score:2, Interesting)

    by FSWKU (551325)

    "People don't want a single dedicated computer. They don't want their whole lives bound up in one piece of hardware. People want to get access wherever they are, from whatever device they're using."

    I don't mind having a "single dedicated computer" or having "my whole life bound up in one piece of hardware" (is he saying that people don't make backups??). Why? Because it's MY machine, under MY control. Nobody else has access to it, nobody else can see anything on it unless I specifically allow them to,

  • by Bent Mind (853241) on Sunday June 25, 2006 @02:43AM (#15599533)
    "People don't want a single dedicated computer. They don't want their whole lives bound up in one piece of hardware.

    No, I don't want my information "bound up" in a single, non-networked device. However, this statement shows just how out of touch this guy is. The Net, in it's current form, has been around since the 90s. Non-tech people have been doing remote connections since the mid 80s. Is "I left the data in my work computer" really still a viable excuse? Do computers still exist that can't be remote accessed (excluding systems designed that way for security reasons)? And no, I'm not talking about systems that just need some switch turned on, I mean they completely lack the ability. I ask because that is the only type of system I can think of where your life might be "bound up in one piece of hardware."

    One thing I can say, I don't want my whole life bound up in a single dedicated pay service. Not when it's so easy to remote access my own systems or even just take the data with me (via USB drive or some such). Why pay someone else to keep my data for me when I can keep it myself for free? On top of that, I feel much safer securing my own data. I don't want to worry about someone snooping without a warrant.

    People want to get access wherever they are, from whatever device they're using."

    I already have this ability without this service. Of course, this service will probably sell. I keep seeing ads for a remote access service on TV. It amazes me every time I see it. I think to myself, people really pay for a service that lets your computer do something it could already do? Wow. I wonder if I could sell a service that changes your wallpaper for you once a month? Of course you would have to supply your own wallpaper.
  • I think this is a fantastic idea, and frankly, I'm surprised there have been so many negative reactions posted so far. There are certainly a few downsides to this approach, but for the most part I think people just have an over-inflated fear that third-parties have the time & desire to snoop through their saved files. Any document of mine that is absolutely unfit for public consumption is encrypted.. and I could care less if anybody wants to look through the rest of my stuff - have fun wasting your ti
    • Looky at the flood of negative comments. In software design don't get prematurely caught up in implementation. Look at the big picture and you can see the future from here on most days.
      Security is just part of the design.

      Will they have a place to tie up my donkey when I get to the spaceport?

      Let's do the splash screen first!

      Besides, this idea has been around for decade.

      http://www.cs.yale.edu/homes/freeman/lifestreams.h tml [yale.edu]

    • The problem is that all it takes is one screw-up, and you're hosed big time (depending on what kinds of data were involved). I hope people really start to think about four key words here: "out of your control". Once you've lost control, you're susceptible to whatever policies, or changes in policy, the company controlling your data wishes to exercise. I'd rather either endure the alleged inconvenience, or run my own server (which probably will not be an option).
      • If the file is encrypted by me (i.e., user-controlled encryption), then I am in control of the contents. With regard to the file itself- this isn't a discussion about the operational "what-ifs" of running a service like this - it's about the idea. The day-to-day operation of this service will be built to address the concerns that others have mentioned. For example, there will be uptime & data availability SLAs, multiple off-site backups, redundant power, etc.

        There is no doubt in my mind that my data
        • Just out of curiousity - what are your views on safe deposit boxes?

          I don't use one. I am under the impression that banks do (or at least used to) respect the confidentiality of their customers- that's precisely one of the reasons for a safe deposit box. Oddly, most business used to exercise a certain degree of discretion when it came to customer data...but the whole scene is now suffering from a tragedy of the commons - once one company decided it was ok to pimp data associated with their customers, everyo
          • This suffers from the same issue that everything else related to technology- if all you have is one single point of failure, and it fails, you are screwed.

            Not trying to turn your own words against you, but wouldn't this statement support centralized storage over a local copy? Even if some redundancy exists locally, a company that specializes in storing documents is going to have more invested in fault tolerance (hardware, power, offsite backup storage, a DR site, etc). To do this yourself would definite

  • by ems2 (976335)

    They don't want their whole lives bound up in one piece of hardware. People want to get access wherever they are, from whatever device they're using.

    Isn't that what Inferno [vitanuova.com] and Plan 9 [bell-labs.com] are all about? It seems Ken Thompson [wikipedia.org] was looking about 20 years ahead of his time.

  • Being connected (Score:2, Interesting)

    by thaig (415462)
    If a facility is useful, a very large proportion of people seem to not give a stuff about security e.g. Outlook.

    I use different computers at work, at home on holiday, when I am out and about. They are all different systems and I don't own them myself necessarily. I have a powerful PDA phone but I don't always carry it with me and it has limited capacity anyhow.

    The more "devices" that we end up using, the more desirable is will become to be able access one's information without having to be involved in the
  • Yawn (Score:2, Insightful)

    Just curious, is anyone else in the Slashdot community really not that interested in web-based software? I find that pretty much any machine I use "on the go" has MS Office or similar installed, and when I need portability I prefer to just email myself my document(s), which as well as removing the reliance on a third party service I trust less than my mail provider, it also means I have a stored backup online if the worst happens. I really couldn't be less interested in doing office-type editing through my
    • I competely agree. Just give me a basic spread sheet, a basic word processor, and a basic database tool and I'm good to go. I had
      versions of each of these thag were perfectly acceptable on my Amiga, so what is the almighty BFD about such simple programs?

      Maxim
    • by deepb (981634)
      I disagree. I'm very interested in using web-based software, because that software follows me everywhere - regardless of my location, or even my OS. I don't want to waste time by emailing documents to myself.. and then worrying whether or not I have the proper software to edit that document wherever it is I'm going.
    • It seems possible that you and I are the only people on the planet who have long since achieved portability to "on the go" machines without longing for editing through a browser facilities.
  • Stop telling me what I want and listen to what I actually want. To the case at hand, actually, I'd much rather have all my data on my PC than somebody elses network.
  • Sun's old motto

    "The Network IS the computer"
  • I want my information easily accessible wherever I am, using whatever app. But that doesn't mean I want web apps.

    So really I want universal formats and global easy to use syncing to any device, any os.

    None of which we have, simply because business don't like or care about anything but themselves. Which is fine for making money, and some customers happy...it is never going to make everyone happy.

Can't open /usr/fortunes. Lid stuck on cookie jar.

Working...