Can Web-based applications outwit, outplay, outlast the desktop?
We sentenced InfoWorld Senior Contributing Editor Oliver Rist to 7 days of using only Web-based productivity applications. Here's how he survivedFollow @infoworld
The rest seem to be offering these apps simply because they can. Google’s Writely and Spreadsheets are impressive examples of Web 2.0 technology, but neither can compete with a desktop app on its own. And neither takes enough advantage of the Web’s particular technologies as yet.
Plus, all these applications are hampered by their very foundations: the Web. Without a Web connection, you can’t use these applications. With a spotty Web connection (such as the one at Bryant Park), you’re dead. Locally installed applications are simply more reliable and feature-rich. No big surprise there.
Companies such as Zoho, however, will most likely change that within the next two years. No, they won’t offer everything that Office does on the Web. But they’ll offer enough to make many smaller businesses turn their heads -- especially at an eventual price point of about $10 per user, per month. Give Zoho a rock-solid Web connection -- or install the local server version it’s coming out with soon -- and a “shipping” version, and you’ve got a viable competitor to Office. Maybe even on an enterprise scale.