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Challenging Microsoft on the Desktop 129

Posted by Zonk
from the scaling-the-mountain dept.
Dotnaught writes "As Microsoft moves to offer software-as-a-service with Windows Live, online companies are moving to challenge Microsoft on the desktop. In a decision that would have been seen as foolish a few years ago, file sharing and social networking company TransMedia plans to release desktop productivity apps (in conjunction with online ones) as lightweight Microsoft Office alternatives. Google, meanwhile, through its deal with Intuit, is colonizing desktop apps as it has done with browsers and search toolbars. Microsoft used to have a home field advantage on the desktop, thanks to Windows. Lately, operating system ownership is looking a lot less valuable."
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Challenging Microsoft on the Desktop

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  • I have so many things I use, it'll be nice to try some new stuff in there, and see if some of the existing software gets displaced in my preferences, for something better.
    • Re: (Score:1, Interesting)

      I'd love to see google or some of the others challenge M$ on their home turf and walk all over them. my money is on Google being the most likely to pull it off.
      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by jimstapleton (999106)
        I dunno, I hold more faith in OpenOffice than Google for wordprocessing, they've been at it for quite a while and have a really good product.

        As for web browser, I'll probably stick to FireFox.

        Problem is, google is not unknown for somewhat shady practices on occasion, and with them being in an excellent position to bias things (they are a search engine after all - ever search with "web", "internet", "net", and "browser" could have the first result become GoogleUseItOrDieWebBrowser or someting).
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by hpavc (129350)
          OO is a nice proof of concept, but its moving anywhere. Its not even comparable with MSWorks or Office97, sure it has a lot of dense high tech bling here and there, but its also bloated and suffered greatly from being too much too soon.

          It reminds me of Mozilla before Firefox
        • by partenon (749418)
          To be honest? I'd prefer FCKEditor on a simple web page than OO Writer. OO Writer tries to do everything on all platforms, and it became heavily bloated. I didn't used the version 2, but my experience w/ OO1 is worse enough to keep me faaar away from OO.org :-)
          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by baadger (764884)
            "OO Writer tries to do everything on all platforms, and it became heavily bloated"

            What about Abiword [abisource.com]?
          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            I'd prefer FCKEditor on a simple web page than OO Writer. OO Writer tries to do everything on all platforms, and it became heavily bloated.

            I don't mind OO writer, but I can see where others might. One thing I'd like to see that might help mitigate that kind of bloat is something like the system services on OS X. They've added spell checking and a dictionary/thesaurus that can be accessed by any application and a grammar checker is supposed to be built into Leopard. I also use a more comprehensive collec

          • by misleb (129952)
            "Editor" and "word processor" are not the same thing.

  • Is this new? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by andrewman327 (635952) on Thursday September 14, 2006 @02:07PM (#16107433) Homepage Journal
    I really fail to see how this is a new advancement. The only real news that I see here is that some of these programs (OoO, Linux) are finally mature enough mature enough to challenge Microsoft. Haven't there always been other providers of desktop applications?


    I don't see how this is unique threat to M$ either. From TFA's first sentence (underlining mine): A year after the release of its suite of online integrated media-sharing and social networking applications, Glide Effortless, TransMedia is redoubling its effort to challenge Apple, Microsoft, MySpace, and Google.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by jedidiah (1196)
      It's not about "advancement", it's about balance coming back to a market that Microsoft is seem to dominate (inevitably).
      • by omeomi (675045)
        It's not about "advancement", it's about balance coming back to a market that Microsoft is seem to dominate (inevitably).

        I would really love to see some other office suite take a majority share. I've been using Office97 since, well, 1997, mostly because I don't care enough about my office suite to purchase an upgrade. I _could_ use OpenOffice, but really, most of my use for an office suite is to open my colleagues' files, and OpenOffice doesn't open .doc files perfectly. It's close, but it's really not
        • by PitaBred (632671)
          OpenOffice will open a Word 2000 document. Let's see Word 97 do that.
          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            by omeomi (675045)
            I've never had any problems opening documents from newer versions of Word. To the best of my knowledge, they haven't changed the file spec at all since 97.
    • Re: (Score:1, Offtopic)

      by truthsearch (249536)
      It may not count as "News For Nerds." But it's still "Stuff That Matters."
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by prelelat (201821)
      The reason its a threat to microsoft is that the applications are becomming web based(or multiplatform) and less OS dependent. Where 3 years ago you had to have the OS that the software was made for its now run on a server where the software is run on. So say word was web based you would be able to use word in OSX, Linux, Unix, Windows. This means big problems for Windows as an operating system if it caught on. I really doubt it would change the industry over night, but I can see why someone would be say
      • by misleb (129952)

        So say word was web based you would be able to use word in OSX, Linux, Unix, Windows.

        But you can already run Word on the vast majority of desktop computers (Windows and Mac). And unix users have Openoffice. so why would a web based Word be significant? Who would anyone use it? A web based Word would suck. It would be 10x slower and bloated than a native solution.

        The big mistake that these online app companies are making is that they are trying to reinvent common applications that are already available to

  • Online apps (Score:5, Insightful)

    by insomniac8400 (590226) on Thursday September 14, 2006 @02:07PM (#16107440)
    There is not a chance in hell I would use an online app for something that runs fine on my local pc. Why add an unneeded security risk?
    • Re:Online apps (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 14, 2006 @02:14PM (#16107508)
      Because every now and then vendors decide it's time to try and make desktop systems into dumb clients again and they need another kick in the ass to remind them of why it's a stupid idea.

      Fear not. This too shall pass. Just like it did the last three times somebody tried it.

      Actually, to be fair, online applications do make sense in a controlled environment such as a workplace where you can deliver a basic windows system and apps on-demand from any platform of your choosing (read: Citrix) to a group of people who don't need any control over their systems (the typical office worker). It's just that sometimes vendors get it into their heads that EVERYTHING should be like that and they try to push it, fail, and get fired, leaving the next batch of marketroids and accountants to come in, eventually develop this "novel" idea, and repeat the entire process again.
      • by Weedlekin (836313)
        "This too shall pass. Just like it did the last three times somebody tried it."

        Great IT Myth Of The 20th Century: web browsers will become the platform of choice, thereby making the OS irrelevant. This will break Microsoft's hold on the desktop.
        Great IT Myth Of The 21st Century: web browsers will become the platform of choice, thereby making the OS irrelevant. This will break Microsoft's hold on the desktop.

        Reality: those who want something hard enough will be very frustrated indeed if they find that they c
    • by matt me (850665)
      Because it's so much faster and more responsive, and the interface is so much easier without being able to use that fiddly secondary click function to use menus, and because it integrates so smoothly with all your other applications, you can just drag and drop stuff between.. No really, because you can work it from *anywhere* yes work or home, providing it has internet access to google where your documents will remain forever property and copyright of. Can you change to competing service? Isn't that why w
    • Re:Online apps (Score:5, Insightful)

      by 99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) on Thursday September 14, 2006 @02:44PM (#16107814)

      There is not a chance in hell I would use an online app for something that runs fine on my local pc. Why add an unneeded security risk?

      There are four main advantages:

      • Free and free upgrades - You don't have to worry about paying for this or keeping it up to date especially if you use multiple different computers.
      • Accessible anywhere - you can work on the same files at home, work, the library, your cousin's house, school, or anywhere else without bringing a laptop or constantly transferring it to a disk.
      • Reliability - Network services have real redundancy. If your hard drive dies, you might lose all or some of your work, depending how good your backups are (most people have none at all). If your house burns down, you might lose it all. Having it stored remotely in multiple physical locations is safer.
      • Collaboration - With an online service you and a friend can both work on the same documents easily. With the right software, you can both even edit the same word processing doc simultaneously, with multiple insertion points/cursors. It is fun and useful.

      For the most part, I agree that I won't be using these services and my company sure doesn't want me collaborating on work projects that get stored by a third party. My backups are good enough and I already host my own server on my workstation when I collaborate on documents (SubEthaEdit). This might, however, make sense for others I know who like to casually collaborate or who know how to use a Web browser and Web mail and don't want to be confused by anything else. To some people, the Web browser is the only application they really run. This might be fine for them and they don't care if someone else steals the Senior Citizen Arts and Crafts schedule, or the erotic sci-fi short story they are co-editing with their old college buddy.

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        Reliability - Network services have real redundancy. If your hard drive dies, you might lose all or some of your work, depending how good your backups are (most people have none at all). If your house burns down, you might lose it all. Having it stored remotely in multiple physical locations is safer.

        Reliability - until your network connection goes down. Then it's pack up your computer and track down another connection.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          Reliability - until your network connection goes down. Then it's pack up your computer and track down another connection.

          True enough, though those are different kinds of reliability. One is the whether your document will be accidentally destroyed and the other is whether you will be able to view/edit it at any given point. There are a lot of drawbacks to office applications as services as well, although in truth I hope all office suites or operating systems begin offering a remote server mode so that I c

        • And I can't remember a situation in which I was without net acess for more than one or two days, and very sporadically (not more than once or twice a year).

          If you take into account that most of my life has been spent in developping countries, then the above anecdote is more interesting.

          And since I have been in the UK I have not been without net access at all for the last 8 years. Not even a single day.

          So I frankly fail to see your point.
          • Wow. It must be great to be you. Here's my anecdote:

            I recently moved between states in the U.S. For the duration of the trip (2 days) I was completely without internet access. When I arrived at my new home, the internet wasn't available for two weeks. Granted, I could go to the library and wait an hour to get on to one of their machines. However, I don't feel comfortable typing in passwords to my e-mail accounts, bank accounts, etc. on public machines --- for obvious reasons.

            So, the point is, not everyo
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          Reliability - until your network connection goes down. Then it's pack up your computer and track down another connection.

          True, but for more and more people, if their Internet connection is down, you might as well throw the machine away. Other than typing papers for school, what non-Net things do people do anymore other than play games (which are now network-dependent such as WoW)? There are still the Quicken hold-outs, but now that all banks offer online service and everyone takes debit cards, what's the
          • True, but for more and more people, if their Internet connection is down, you might as well throw the machine away.

            Right. Computers were little more than expensive paperweights before the advent of the internet. Thanks for the history lesson.

            Other than typing papers for school, what non-Net things do people do anymore other than play games (which are now network-dependent such as WoW)?

            Are you serious? Ever hear of computer programming, web-page design, accounting, word-processing, modeling and simul
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by someonewhois (808065)
        Free and free upgrades - You don't have to worry about paying for this or keeping it up to date especially if you use multiple different computers.
        What prevents these services from cutting you off from your data and requiring you to start paying monthly charges to use it plus an $400 "sign up fee", effectively holding all of your data for ransom?
        • The market. (Score:3, Insightful)

          by jotaeleemeese (303437)
          The bad reputation they would create would kill them commercially.

          And lets not even mention lawsuits.

          Well, what the heck, lets do it: lawsuits.
      • by misleb (129952)

        Free and free upgrades - You don't have to worry about paying for this or keeping it up to date especially if you use multiple different computers.

        Yeah, because everyone knows that Office 95 stopped working when the next version came out.

        Accessible anywhere - you can work on the same files at home, work, the library, your cousin's house, school, or anywhere else without bringing a laptop or constantly transferring it to a disk.

        The thing is, people who need to do that kind of thing (work on the same file

        • Yeah, because everyone knows that Office 95 stopped working when the next version came out.

          But it does not have bug fixes or improvements that many of us want to keep up with the times. I want vector graphics in my resulting PDFs. If a free word processor will give them to me, but I have to pay to upgrade from Office 95, well one is superior... for those that need or want that option. Staying with old, outdated software is not a good option for a significant number of users.

          The thing is, people who nee

          • by misleb (129952)
            But it does not have bug fixes or improvements that many of us want to keep up with the times.I want vector graphics in my resulting PDFs. If a free word processor will give them to me, but I have to pay to upgrade from Office 95, well one is superior... for those that need or want that option. Staying with old, outdated software is not a good option for a significant number of users

            There have been free patches released for Office 95. And in case you haven't noticed, even Office 95 is lightyears a head of a
            • There have been free patches released for Office 95. And in case you haven't noticed, even Office 95 is lightyears a head of anything you can find online, so your arguments about features only exist in a hypothetical space.

              But we're not talking about what you can find online, we're talking about online word processors in general. Since the only offerings right now are fledglings at best, you can't predict the reason people might switch to online word processors based upon solvable, normal issues with ne

    • by Dilaudid (574715)
      There is not a chance in hell I would use an online app for something that runs fine on my local pc. Why add an unneeded security risk?
      So what? You're a geek. You probably run a *nix. The average user runs (insecure) windows - this is the desktop market you're talking about. No-one gives a toss about security on desktops - except maybe when a virus hits, and online apps are way safer from viruses.
      • by rob1980 (941751)
        Viruses aren't the point - an online service is only as secure as the people who use it. If some schmuck logs into a site with sensitive data on a public terminal at an airport and doesn't close his session, someone can come in right behind him and tinker. If somebody gives his password out to his secretary so they can do something, then the secretary writes it down and hangs the sticky on their monitor where the overnight janitor can see it, that's already 2 extra people that have access to resources tha
    • by 2nd Post! (213333)
      Which is why I don't run Windows :D
    • by javajawa (126489)
      The network is the computer.
    • by partenon (749418)
      Maybe, because you use one computer at work, and other at home, and don't want to keep "files" everywhere? I replaced MS Excel w/ Google Spreadsheets since the first invites were sent, and I'm very happy. I'm not a power spreadsheets user, but it fully fits my needs :-)
    • Let me tell you.... (Score:5, Informative)

      by CdBee (742846) on Thursday September 14, 2006 @03:34PM (#16108361)
      I keep my car service schedule in Google Spreadsheets so my mechanic can log in and see when core parts were last changed or maintained. I use Writely to compose blog posts and note down useful information for later retrieval. I use Google Calendar so I can add events whenever I get a message rather than just at home. Thats what Onlline apps are for. use-anywhere.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Digicrat (973598)
      Online apps are being developed with a lot of advantages over locally running applications, however only one of them can't be duplicated in a conventional application--network file storage of your files.

      The only advantage to online applications is being able to access your files from wherever you are, from any computer that you choose. This is not however a feature that everybody needs, or that we need for every file. If you do use multiple computers however, it can quickly become frustrating maintaining
      • Re:Online apps (Score:4, Informative)

        by DragonWriter (970822) on Thursday September 14, 2006 @03:53PM (#16108541)
        Online apps are being developed with a lot of advantages over locally running applications, however only one of them can't be duplicated in a conventional application--network file storage of your files.
        Assuming you have access to a network location to do the storage, its fairly trivial to have network storage of files from a desktop application. What you lack, typically, is guaranteed software with which to access that store from just about any standard browser, which ias the real advantage of online applications.
        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by Digicrat (973598)
          It's not so easy to have network storage of a file from within an application outside of your local network without using external tools. My point though, is that allowing a service, like Google, to provide that network storage and tools to synchronize it, would be more convenient than maintaining your own file server (and more economical then keeping an extra computer on 24/7 just to serve files), and more useful than a full online application (not to say that the two can't co-exist).

          If you save your file
          • The problem with online applications is that if your dependent on them, then your out of luck if something happens to your network connection. Even with Google Calendar, when I'm on the wireless network on campus sometimes parts of it become unusable because of a weak connection. Remote file storage allows you to just retrieve the data once, regardless of the quality of your connection, and allows you to cache your file/changes locally if your connection drops.

            Online applications cannot provide this functio

  • OS owneship (Score:5, Insightful)

    by E IS mC(Square) (721736) on Thursday September 14, 2006 @02:08PM (#16107448) Journal
    >>Lately, operating system ownership is looking a lot less valuable.

    This could not have been true-er. First, I substituted MS Office with OpenOffice*. After Google came out with spreadsheet and document solutions of its own, I do not even use OpenOffice anymore. What more, it does not matter anymore if I am on Windows XP or Ubuntu or Suse - as long as I have a relatively mainsteam browser with me, I am good to go.

    *I am talking about my home environment where I do not user "Office" applications that heavily, and online solutions available to me satisfy ALL my needs.
    • by mordors9 (665662)
      I would never discount the value of the operating system. M$ has shown in the past their willingness to push through fixes and updates that mysteriously cause other apps not to function properly, to at least attempt to make apps part of the OS so they can not be removed and you end up with 2 apps that do the same thing. That's why only free apps can really continue to compete with M$ products.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        True. But with M$ itself trying to set a foothold in the webbased applications, it changes some - if not all - rules of the game.

        And this is just a beginning. Earlier, due to unavaillibity of a lot of applications on non-M$ (read Linux) OS, I had practially no way of getting myself rid of XP. Now, there is only one application (Creative soundblaster music reciever driver, and sadly, I dont see them doing anything for Linux users.*). So, at least the ball has been set to roll, and appear to gather the critic
        • by misleb (129952)

          And this is just a beginning. Earlier, due to unavaillibity of a lot of applications on non-M$ (read Linux) OS, I had practially no way of getting myself rid of XP. Now, there is only one application (Creative soundblaster music reciever driver, and sadly, I dont see them doing anything for Linux users.*). So, at least the ball has been set to roll, and appear to gather the critical mass pretty soon.

          Sorry, but I find it hard to believe that the mediocre little browser based applications that Google and f

          • >>simple spreadsheet capabilities matching or exceeding what Google sheets can do has been available on Linux for years.

            True. And let me come clean on this. I am in the middle of switching from XP to Linux. So, I am your classic Linux noob. Now, I am not saying that such apps were not available to me on Linux, what I am saying is that now consistant behavior of such apps delivered over the browsers have eased the pain of switching between interfaces while at work or at home, and I am more confident on
            • by misleb (129952)

              And as I mentioned earlier, I am not a heavy user of such apps, and those "mediocre little browser based applications" serve all the purpose for my needs _at home_.

              Nothing personal. It is just that so many people on Slashdot act like browser based applications such as Google spreadsheets provide some amazing new capabiiies that non-Windows platforms have never had before... thus making the transition easier. When, in fact, users of OSes other than Windows are generally satisfied with what is available to

    • by Mulielo (982836)
      This could not have been true-er.

      I belieive that should read: "This could not have been more true."
      Thanks, and have a great day :-)
    • by misleb (129952)
      Yeah, because everyone knows there are no document management solutions outside of *office available for major OSes. Linux users, for example, had no way of editting a text file before Openoffice came out. Programmers simply echoed text to files from teh commandline. And forget about spreadsheets. NObody ever made a stripped down spreadsheet program besides Excel. I had a dream of something called gcalc once, but that was only a dream. I certainly haven't been using it for years. All praise Google for bring
  • Most Windows users don't understand what an operating system is or where the boundaries between the operating system, its desk top, and its application might be.

    Even the ones who know they run "Windows XP" as opposed to some other version don't know what that means. They do know and use Outlook, Excel, Word, PowerPoint, Visio, and Access. Why do they know ? Because they start those applications frequently and a splash screen tells them what they are running. The equivalent to the splash screen for the o
    • by 140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) on Thursday September 14, 2006 @02:31PM (#16107676) Journal
      My assertion is that a corporate IT department could substitute any operating system and users would barely notice as long as they could continue to use Outlook, Excel, Word, PowerPoint, Visio, and Access.

      Many vendors could easily out-do MSFT in application space. MSFT did not get its marketshare and lead by simple technical superiority of its product or coding skills. It got it by better business tactics. Infact every flag ship product that is minting money for MSFT started out as a pale copy of some other better program. WordPerfect, QuattroPro/Lotus, Harvard Presentation Graphics, Dbase/Foxbase etc. Then the marketing muscle, clever tricks to prevent interoperability, agreements with vendors to throttle competition and naivity of its user base that confused interoperability with PC-compatibility got MSFT the market share and lead. If the OS advantage is removed and the playing field is leveled by demanding true interoperability and compatibility to standards, (standards not wholly owned and manipulated by MSFT) you will see what other vendors are truly capable of.

      The key is Open STANDARDS. Do not confuse it with Linux/Mac/Unix or Open Source or Free Software or Gnu or GPL. If the users demand true portability of their data and their applications the playing field will be leveled. My docment, my macros, my scripts are mine. I want them to work whether I choose to run MSOffice or OpenOffice. Only when owners of the data assert their ownership and refuse to be locked into a particular vendor's format the playing field will be level.

      • But why should Microsoft care? There aren't enough OOo or WordPerfect users out there for their voices to add up to anything more than a fringe. What is needed first is for people to become less fearful of using non-Microsoft software...but every time something fails to render properly, people run back to what they were using for years.
        • But why should Microsoft care? There aren't enough OOo or WordPerfect users out there for their voices to add up to anything more than a fringe. What is needed first is for people to become less fearful of using non-Microsoft software...but every time something fails to render properly, people run back to what they were using for years.

          I know it sounds strange applied to MS, but the market responds to customers. A lot of customers want the advantages of open standards and are tired of promises to bring t

      • Infact every flag ship product that is minting money for MSFT started out as a pale copy of some other better program. WordPerfect, QuattroPro/Lotus, Harvard Presentation Graphics, Dbase/Foxbase etc.

        Kind of like WordPerfect was an imitation of WordStar. 1-2-3 was an imitation of VisiCalc. Etc. The reality is, is that while Microsoft's products are far from perfect, in many cases they really are better. Over time Microsoft really does get shit done. It's the advantage of having operating capital and being ab

        • Re: (Score:2, Troll)

          Yes there was time more people knew WordStar commands than the entire population of Pakistan, but when WordPerfect out did WordStar, it did it with a better product. When Lotus outdid Visicalc it did it with a better product.

          When Word out did WordPerfect, it was through bundling it with OS, getting steep discounts on the price of OS to the OEM installers if they DONT install or sell WordPerfectb by throttling the revenue stream of WordPerfect by leveraging MSFT's monopoly in the OS space. That is how it w

          • by thammoud (193905)
            Maybe I was in the minority, but using Word on Windows was a better experience than using Wordperfect. The first WP windows port (Hidden Codes and such) was very poor.
          • "When Word out did WordPerfect, it was through bundling it with OS, getting steep discounts on the price of OS to the OEM installers if they DONT install or sell WordPerfectb by throttling the revenue stream of WordPerfect by leveraging MSFT's monopoly in the OS space"

            WordPerfect lost in the marketplace long before it was common to bundle applications with a computer. They lost because their product and their company (WordPerfect Corp - 2 owners ago) had a philosophy that was in conflict with the new trend
      • As someone who sets up / builds PCs, I've found that if you change the icon on Firefox to use the iexplore icon, and rename the shortcut to OpenOffice Calc to say "Excel", people will use it, and they won't even notice most of the time that its a different application.
    • My assertion is that a corporate IT department could substitute any operating system and users would barely notice as long as they could continue to use Outlook, Excel, Word, PowerPoint, Visio, and Access.

      To tone it down a little, I'd say that surely they'd notice that there was a difference insofar as the UI was different. However, it is true that:

      • They wouldn't care so long as they could figure out how to launch the apps they need within 30 seconds
      • Even though they could tell the difference, they would
  • by wardk (3037)
    Seems that **anything** that runs ON windows contributes to Windows "dominance"

    right?
    • Right. Developers have an incentive to write their apps to the API that has the most installations. Users have an incentive to purchase and install the OS that has the best applications.
  • I'm actually glad things are moving up in the industry -- as long as different companies choose to pick one specialization and strive to make the market place fairer, the existence of monopolies like Microsoft will be threatened.

    What I do not like to see, however, is that most companies that do so play catch up and do not even provide a better user experience for the users, making it harder for the already comfortable users to make the switch.
  • Just get the price down on those fiber optics and we'll see. Na'h wait, I'll be able to cvsup a brillion times faster then, forget it.
  • by mpapet (761907) on Thursday September 14, 2006 @02:20PM (#16107579) Homepage
    I find it hard to consider this seriously when the CEO's bio reads:

    "Mr. Leka established strategic partnerships with industry leaders including Apple Computer and Microsoft and throughout the HealthSCOUT Syndicated Network of over 3,000 sites (e.g. Yahoo, USA Today, NBCi, iWon, Juno, AT&T, Prodigy). Previously, Mr. Leka was a co-founder and Executive Director of The Fultz Foundation in Washington, DC where he was instrumental in securing funding from the George Soros Foundation and USAID among others. Mr. Leka developed and directed various international projects focused on business development and management training including telecommunications and the internet." http://www.transmediacorp.com/about/board.htm [transmediacorp.com]

    Sounds like he's successful at shaking money out of wealthy people's pocket because http://www.fultzfoundation.org/ [fultzfoundation.org] is little more than a placeholder and the dot-bomb marketing speak is so 1998.
    • by mpapet (761907)
      There's this link from earlier in the year where it claims to be an online storage company:
      http://www.redherring.com/Article.aspx?a=16146&hed =TransMedia+Site+Goes+Social [redherring.com]

      There's this link where it claims it will do magic with a PDA
      www.pdastreet.com/articles/2006/5/2006-5-22-Glide- Mobile-Extended.html

      I'm not sure how a single library/ies will magically make all of this interoperable because I've seen what it takes from an engineering side to attempt this sort of thing and it ain't pretty. I haven't eve
  • I don't understand, what do Eskimos have to do with desktop applications? ... Oh. Intuit! Sorry.
  • As long as the premiere system for this software is MS, all the companies will loss to MS over the long haul. For example, Intuit owned the personal desktop money management. Now, MS Money is the current winner. The only thing that keeps Intuit alive is their tax software. Once they lose dominance on it, the company will be gone. The best thing for all these companies is to move to Apple and OSS (particularly Linux).
    • > The best thing for all these companies is to move to Apple and OSS (particularly Linux).
      Not really, a 5 percent market share on the Windows platform beats 100% share on OSX/LINUX, and the LINUX market is still hampered by the stigma of being the platform that people associate with free software. Seriously, how many of the folks here running LINUX have spent a $200 bucks on a software package?
      • by mackyrae (999347)
        Are those crickets I hear?

        A lot of Linux distros come with OOo installed by default, don't they? If you're getting the same thing free with your free operating system, why replace it with a $200 program?
        • by NSIM (953498)
          The point I'm trying to make is that there is almost an expectation that software on LINUX is free, which doesn't exactly endear to commercial software developers who want to *SELL* something!
      • by jmorris42 (1458) *
        > Seriously, how many of the folks here running LINUX have spent a $200 bucks on a software package?

        Me personally or my workplace. Personally the biggest ticket purchase has been $100 for a copy of VMWare 1.0 obtained at a special price at a trade show when it first appeared. Lots of smaller purchases though, especially when Loki was still alive and kicking.

        Here at work though we will write a check if it is the only way to get the job done. Hell, we got in as a beta site on our library automation and
    • The only thing that keeps Intuit alive is their tax software.

      As much as I despise the program, Quickbooks has a pretty huge installed base. Not to mention all the obnoxious nickle-and-diming they like to do for "added value" (payroll, merchant accounts, etc.)

      • Just as MS has been taking over Quicken by offering Money for free on Windows (until it was established), MS will be offering low-cost to free business software. All of it will be funded by their monopoly. That will allow them to kill off the compitition and then jack the price. Sadly, far too many of our businesses think short-term rather than long-term. By the time Intuit decides to move to Linux, the OSS world will have a decent and free solution. It will be hard to compete. Think of AOL. They are only n
  • Finally! (Score:3, Funny)

    by carrier lost (222597) on Thursday September 14, 2006 @02:32PM (#16107682) Homepage

    Lately, operating system ownership is looking a lot less valuable.


    Yay, Netscape!!!

    Oh. Wait...

    MjM

  • by xxxJonBoyxxx (565205) on Thursday September 14, 2006 @02:32PM (#16107686)
    Why I'm sticking with MS Office (97):
        - It still works with people using Office 2003
        - It doesn't take a registration key
        - The CD is quite easy to copy for friends and family
        - The built-in VB stuff is completely (safely) broken when you just run it off a file share
        - It never phones home (and there's no Internet component)
        - It installs in under 100MB
        - If any new features have been introduced since 1997, I don't need them
        - It doesn't try to figure out my advertising profile from the documents I work with

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      weird, those are same reasons that i only run windows 3.1
    • If all your files are Office97 format created by Office97, you can very easily migrate to OpenOffice.
      • Tried - can't do it. OpenOffice is a relative resource pig. (Office 97, designed for Windows 95, if nice and fast on a modern Windows OS.) Also, I stopped sending relatives to OpenOffice once they started working with multiple docs with images. The webpage-ish "save all files NEXT to the doc" was cute as long as they didn't want to transfer files or navigate folders, but you know how people are...
        • You have a copy of Office97 and it works. So continue to use it as long as you could. OO version 2 is much more stable and less of a resource hog. Just be glad then if Vista or a future version loses backward compatibility and makes your Office97 CD worthless, there is OO.org for you as a fallback position.
          • Yeah...no way am I going to Vista. I'm using Windows 2000 server as my primary Windows desktop OS (I collect somewhat legal castoffs from customers who dump their "obsolete" systems); it seems to be the last Windows OS that doesn't phone home.
  • Cause lord knows if you add the instability of web interfaces to MS's track record, you're in for lots and lots of "save now" or risk losing your document. The best part about going web-based is that burried in the ToS, I bet there's something about "can't assure constant connection". This leaves MS plenty of room to sa, "not our problem" and take your money anyway.
  • by thorkyl (739500)
    There will be no more operating systems on users machines...

    You will boot flash memory
    Your machine will go to MS
    Your machine will then run what MS thinks you need
    Your machine will tell MS where you went and what you downloaded
    Your machine will tell the NSA where you went and what you downloaded
    Your machine will stop error when your isp has a hickup

    Your machine has MS

    --
    Stupid people should not breed
  • I think its time someone made a Windows lookalike package for people wanting to change to Linux.
     
    They could call it something similar, like ...Microhard windows...or maybe Microhard Doors, or wait! wait! Megahard Doors! that's it!
     
      "Tired of Microsoft Windows' lack of security? Try out our free Megahard Doors (tm) operating system for increased security!"
  • I agree with some of the previous comments that many users are running MSFT Office because they're familiar with the products and, right now, they have to be running Windows to use those products (okay, WINE users aside). Where I see the blurring between desktop and internet apps having the most impact is at the low end of the PC market. A $125.00 laptop...or whatever the $100.00 laptop is up to now...would stand to benefit greatly from the availability of online applications.

    It may not make a big dent

  • Whenever they go try to take over a new market, someone tries to poach the last market they came in and took over! When will people just leave them alone!??oneone!!
  • Oh my! ...

    Maybe Google can teach Intuit how not to be evil. ... DRM, spam, and the like.

  • by Chacham (981)
    Ultimately, these people are still running Windows. And Microsoft has been caught in the past. They could just add more undocumented features in their browser and make it more stable or whatever.

    The pull of Microsoft is it's stability and the way everything fits together. Another online app might not be enough on its own to challenge Microsoft anywhere.

    Then again, as we move further into the Internet age, and the people are more and more Internet oriented, it could be people will specifically want online ap
  • by walterbyrd (182728) on Thursday September 14, 2006 @04:42PM (#16109008)
    1) There are more desktop apps than just office. A lot more. It only takes one must-have windows-only app to kill the deal for any alternative OS.

    2) Aside from running apps that most desktop users want, windows also works with the hardware that most users want: multi-function printer/scanner/copier things, win-modems, ipods, etc.

    3) Lots of popular web site will not work correctly on anything except msie.

    4) DRM & multi-media.

    As much as I dislike msft, I prefer to be realistic and admit that linux has no chance of being popular on the desktop for the forseeable future.
  • I often hear of the Chicken and the Egg analogy used to explain why companies don't develop software for Linux. Perhaps this is the egg being laid. Trueth is, web apps, even those made by MS are good for Linux because they are always cross platform. Not to mention the fact that over the past few years linux has gone from being a difficult to use OS with little software avalible to it to becoming a high powered, easy to use OS with thousands and thousands of apps avalible for it. Years ago, I wouldn't have b
  • with challenging microsoft desktop apps? Specifically office? Trying to build a better office suite than microsoft is kind of a futile effort... One more crappy word processor that reads .doc format isn't going to unseat the whole office suite. Microsoft has saturated the market *fully*. Office is microsoft's single most successful product, even more successful than windows since most mac users use office, and some linux users use office through wine.

    If developers really want to get people to use open sourc

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