HWeissfield continues "I saw this as an unsurprising evolution of the way that the Internet is influencing our society today, but I question whether we can really leave critical applications and reports to someone other than ourselves. It may be common to use the terminal paradigm on mainframes where computing power is grandeur and reliable connections can be made, but what about the chaotic and unpredictable mass that is the Internet? Where could Linux fit into this structure that may be prevalent in the future?"
For one thing, it may mean "instant" commercial accounting and tax software for Linux, BSD, BeOS etc. without begging companies that publish such things for ports to your favorite OS. For example, Intuit, publisher of Quicken, Quickbooks, and TurboTax, is reportedly ready to roll out cross-platform, Web-based apps big-time. If they do this - and if their competitors follow them - it'll save a lot of small businesses, from the need to maintain a Windows or Mac box in a corner to run financial software after they've switched to Linux, *BSD or BeOS as their primary OS.
This is a "must read it all the way through" article. It's deep and thoughtful and (as HWeissfield points out) it raises many questions. Care to take a crack at answering some of them?