“Microsoft and IBM executives Wednesday admitted feeling heat from Google now that the Web search giant is trying to make inroads into the enterprise market with its hosted suite of communication and collaboration tools.” says NetworkWorld.
Desktop productivity suites — i.e. Microsoft and Open Office — are beginning to appear as legacy apps for younger internet user generation. If you think about it, up to a few years ago, our desktop was application centric. You’d have to think about what application to use to either create, edit or read information. In this antic time, still valid for conservative users, Office was the place where we’d live on our desktop. Not anymore for Internet centric users, especially 15-24 years old.
Multimedia content, supported with the advent and success of Youtube, flickr, slide.com, and others not to forget podcasts, is paving the way to another information form factor. As a matter of fact, information streams to you via RSS feeds sitting on your desktop via Netvibes personal portal on the web and various widgets. Google apps are starting to give a clear headway towards SaaS collaborative “desktop” productivity applications, not to mention they’ve just completed another step in completeness with Tonic acquisition — a presentation sharing and collaboration solution for Powerpoint slides.
To sum it up, I believe we’ve moved from Desktop to Webtop with several key implication:
- Our digital environment is no more sitting on our PC but on the network,
- Our environment is no longer application centric but user centric i.e. information is flowing your way whatever the application required to exploit it should be. Various alerts are pacing your information day from blogs, information sites, our mailbox and calendar,
- Users are empowered to design their environment, not software vendors!
Webtop is a personalized web hosted desktop that you can use everywhere, from any device, that no software vendor would design for you. This is pure Web 2.0 attitude: users are designing their webtop “app” aggregating various components in an iterative and collaborative way — users recommend widgets and apps to others. Gone the day when software vendors were dictating their view of the world. Folks, we’re in charge again. And webtop already have vendors, check out Goowy.
Microsoft colleagues, can you feel the heat?