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Microsoft Ex-Chief to Launch Web-Based Software

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 8 years ago | from the friendly-neighborhood-startup dept.

102

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."'"

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102 comments

Yeah . . . (5, Insightful)

base3 (539820) | more than 8 years ago | (#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.

Why not just use USB drives? (4, Interesting)

khasim (1285) | more than 8 years ago | (#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.

Re:Why not just use USB drives? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15599349)

Because no USB drive in the world has enough space to contain my porn collection.

Re:Why not just use USB drives? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15599365)

Because no USB drive in the world has enough space to contain my porn collection.

Fucking jack off.

Re:Why not just use USB drives? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15599373)

That's why they're coming up with holographic storage, dawg! Terrabytes of porn! Yeehaw!

Re:Why not just use USB drives? (3, Informative)

CodeBuster (516420) | more than 8 years ago | (#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]

OS + data on USB drive all (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15599562)

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 your docs there to yourself and update your docs when you're next at a machine you can reboot to knoppix, you should (more or less) be in the clear

Re:Why not just use USB drives? (3, Informative)

Clovert Agent (87154) | more than 8 years ago | (#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.

Re:Why not just use USB drives? (1)

Dolda2000 (759023) | more than 8 years ago | (#15600127)

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.

Re:Why not just use USB drives? (3, Interesting)

kabz (770151) | more than 8 years ago | (#15601616)

Actually, quite a few USB sticks come with a partition set up as a auto-run CD image. I was *very* surprised the other day to plug one such stick into an XP PC at work and have it auto-run a bunch of system tray code for managing the USB stick.

I believe the stick is a SanDisk Cruiser.

Note that this is after I'd at least attempted to repartition and format the stick on my powerbook. Maybe I got it wrong but I didn't manage to kill the CD partition.

Re: Why not just use USB drives? (1)

Dolda2000 (759023) | more than 8 years ago | (#15602668)

That sounds like a serious security flaw in Windows, doesn't it? Does anyone have more details?

Re:Why not just use USB drives? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15605868)

That's called "installing teh driver." You'll see several little notification windows pop-up the first time you insert a new (to that machine) type of USB drive. XP isn't running software from the stick, it's installing its own USB stick driver. The only thing that remains in the system tray once it's finished is the XP USB icon that allows you to stop the device before removing it. All very normal behavior if you're used to Windows; not so much if you're used to Mac.

Re:Why not just use USB drives? (1)

dnoyeb (547705) | more than 8 years ago | (#15600366)

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.

Re:Why not just use USB drives? (2, Interesting)

killjoe (766577) | more than 8 years ago | (#15599498)

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.

Re:Why not just use USB drives? (3, Insightful)

SCHecklerX (229973) | more than 8 years ago | (#15600840)

Re:Why not just use USB drives? (2, Informative)

jbarr (2233) | more than 8 years ago | (#15602850)

I concur. The PortableApps concept really intrigues me. Just be forewarned that large suites like this (even including an app like Portable Firefox) can have HORRIBLE performance if you are not using USB 2.0. That said, it's very nice, convenient, and probably pretty secure to keep a library of often-used "portable" tools on a Thumb Drive.

One method of "finding" portable applications is to try installing your favorite application, copy the installation directory to a thumb drive, and then try running that on another computer. Sometimes, you get lucky, and end up with a fine, portable application! Basically, you want to find applications that only install into their own directory, and don't write anything into other directories or the registery. Just be smart about it and don't expect large, commercial applications to be able to do this...especially Microsoft applications that write large quantities of stuff to the registery.

For another excellent portable apps site, check out PortableFreeware.com [portablefreeware.com]

Re:Why not just use USB drives? (1)

WilliamSChips (793741) | more than 8 years ago | (#15600982)

Probably because the current implementation of such stuff usually sucks balls. I had to get some program from the Geek Squad to rid my USB drive of some U3 shit they tried to put on for that purpose.

Re:Why not just use USB drives? (1)

Emetophobe (878584) | more than 8 years ago | (#15599929)

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.

Re:Why not just use USB drives? (1)

Ajehals (947354) | more than 8 years ago | (#15600843)

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 data shouldn't be too hard, I keep all my important contact data and quite a bit of my data on my PDA as well as on my Desktop giving me access to it anywhere. But that combination of up to date and secure data storage that is accessible may be beyond quite a few novice users.

In conclusion having access to data anywhere via the web is a good idea, however if it is a pay per use system, or if you need to use the web applications of a single vendor to access or modify it it becomes less useful. I would find a service that simply acts as remote storage quite useful, if it could be used as a storage medium for many other web based applications and could be synced with my PDA and desktop - AND was accessed in a secure manner (ssh tunnel or whatever) encrypted by me (not the provider). In short I would like a number of services that interoperated securely and offered some degree of flexibility. Sadly I assume we are going to see a collection of companies providing a set of incompatible services and applications that will be quite costly, in order to recreate the lock in that has served Microsoft so well over the last few years.

Re:Why not just use USB drives? (1)

Billly Gates (198444) | more than 8 years ago | (#15602564)

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 feeling this is where we will be heading next. Desktop applets and settings are where the new growth is and Apple, Google, and Microsoft are providing it.

sure, but we're weirdos (2, Insightful)

r00t (33219) | more than 8 years ago | (#15599450)

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 using $60 ink cartrages.

Re:Yeah . . . (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15599531)

If I need to not be "bound up," I'll VNC in over SSH.

You may be correct, but 99% of PC users will disagree, since the sentence above is absolute gibberish to them.

Re:Yeah . . . (1)

CadetUmfer (858057) | more than 8 years ago | (#15602119)

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.

Re:Yeah . . . (1)

Dzonatas (984964) | more than 8 years ago | (#15602843)

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 anywhere? The idea isn't new, and it doesn't need to be touted only in an ugly "pay for service" style.

Microsoft Ex-Chief to Launch Web-Based Software (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15599321)

I have only one piece of hardware, you insensitive clod.

"People" (1)

Joebert (946227) | more than 8 years ago | (#15599330)

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 ?

Executive to Worker Ratio 3:1 (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#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.

Re:Executive to Worker Ratio 3:1 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15599424)

That would be a ratio of 1:3, would it not?

Re:Executive to Worker Ratio 3:1 (2, Insightful)

DRM_is_Stupid (954094) | more than 8 years ago | (#15599492)

Well, this isn't unusual for a very new company that can grow very fast. I don't think too much can be said from just these two Initial numbers. E.g. if they do well, their population could double annually. Then the ratio would be something like 100 : 15, as new employees usually don't become executives over night.

Re:Executive to Worker Ratio 3:1 (1)

Cal Paterson (881180) | more than 8 years ago | (#15599754)

Honestly, this isn't unusual for a startup that's taken on way to many high level staff. It's also not unsual for a business that makes this mistake to collapse quickly, or to find themselves uncompetitive.

Nothing's certain, but the chances shoot through the roof with a 1:3 exec to employee ratio.

Re:Executive to Worker Ratio 3:1 (1)

DRM_is_Stupid (954094) | more than 8 years ago | (#15611650)

Wow, I was marked flamebait when I was just stating what seemed obvious to me, as I work at a small company that doubled in population in the last year...

Re:Executive to Worker Ratio 3:1 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15599608)

Look back to the location of the Headquarters - it's more than likely a product of the local culture. To many Indians, a title and the associated status can be more important than pay and power.

Re:Executive to Worker Ratio 3:1 (1)

dodobh (65811) | more than 8 years ago | (#15600503)

12 sales people. _Every_ salesdroid is a manager.

Re:Executive to Worker Ratio 3:1 (1)

dotoole (881696) | more than 8 years ago | (#15600507)

Or maybe most of those executives are also developers. A company run by people who actually produce something? That will never work...

Re:Executive to Worker Ratio 3:1 (3, Funny)

bakes (87194) | more than 8 years ago | (#15602658)

Executive to Worker Ratio 3:1

They are aiming for a 3.14159 : 1 ratio eventually.

What they want ... (2, Insightful)

Quiberon (633716) | more than 8 years ago | (#15599336)

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! (5, Insightful)

Jerry Coffin (824726) | more than 8 years ago | (#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.

Meh (1)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 8 years ago | (#15599366)

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 (2, Insightful)

0racle (667029) | more than 8 years ago | (#15599396)

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.

Re:Meh (1)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 8 years ago | (#15599437)

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 (3, Interesting)

generic-man (33649) | more than 8 years ago | (#15599399)

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.

Mainframe to PC and now back to Mainframe (4, Insightful)

jt2377 (933506) | more than 8 years ago | (#15599367)

Weeeeee!!!!!!!! the wheel goes round and round.

Re:Mainframe to PC and now back to Mainframe (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15599515)

I think there are reasons, however. Mainframe was important because of the lack of affordable PCs. Now, web applications are becoming a possibility with the wider install base of more powerful browsers and lower bandwidth cost. The user interface has certainly changed since the mainframe days.

Really? (3, Informative)

Don'tTreadOnMe (686201) | more than 8 years ago | (#15599370)

"People don't want a single dedicated computer."

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

Re:Really? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15599505)

...but... why?

Re:Really? (1)

modecx (130548) | more than 8 years ago | (#15599538)

...but... why?

'Cause it's much easier to destroy your evidence^W data when the feds come over to be party poopers.

One place and everywhere. (1)

twitter (104583) | more than 8 years ago | (#15601375)

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 currently in Etch atomizes everything, so you can join resources from multiple places coherently. This makes atomizing your own resources much easier. I'm moving to smaller calendars and address books, which are easier to maintain and put on different devices or get via network. Yes, I keep a local copy on my laptop, just in case I don't have a network connection, but the master copy sits on the cable box. This way, all of my machines have the same, up to date information without sync hassles whenever they are on a network, all via ssh. If I want to share with someone else, Kontact will export it's formats or html on demand. If, for some reason, you have something private mark it that way and it won't be exported by accident. It makes me cringe to remember Outlook's horrible old single file for everything format.

Re:One place and everywhere. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15602599)

Hi - we were wondering if you were planning to reply to this [slashdot.org] soon. Thanks.

More toy web apps (2, Insightful)

sco08y (615665) | more than 8 years ago | (#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.

a bit more than that (speculation) (4, Interesting)

free space (13714) | more than 8 years ago | (#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.

Glancing through the Executive Bios... (2, Funny)

Chatmag (646500) | more than 8 years ago | (#15599386)

I find Alexis Smirnov.

What a great opportunity for a "In Soviet Russia..." post.

in soviet russia.... (2, Funny)

free space (13714) | more than 8 years ago | (#15599568)

Companies tell YOU what you want! ....oh wait, nevermind.

Re:Glancing through the Executive Bios... (1)

Al Dimond (792444) | more than 8 years ago | (#15603262)

What, in Soviet Russia, meta-humor mods up you? Come on...

Security? Privacy (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15599390)

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.

yea... good luck man (1)

moochfish (822730) | more than 8 years ago | (#15599393)

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...

IGNORANCE IS STRENGTH (1)

Zx-man (759966) | more than 8 years ago | (#15599406)

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 data than they could get if you only sent a single file. Do you really want this?

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

But keep in mind that it will impact the performance of their main device.

I think we are in one of those major generational changes. And it will be interesting to see how it plays out.

If it doesn't play out the "web-is-our-OS" way, the result will actually be far better for both you and your users. Unless you intended to spy on em. ;-)

Re:IGNORANCE IS STRENGTH (2, Insightful)

Fuzzie Viking (746210) | more than 8 years ago | (#15599942)

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 was the case, who says the primary seed isn't your machine? That would remove some of the speed concerns.

not an open-source play (1)

noneme (917222) | more than 8 years ago | (#15599426)

"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 interesting innovations are going to occur around different ways to organize and share and access information."

I don't think he really understands "the battle". A web app can run on any system but being closed-source can hinder the sharing and accessing information if the developer isn't thoughtful. Google seemed to care about the client machine when they ported Picassa to linux http://slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=06/05/26/031022 9 [slashdot.org] and also managed to aid the open-source community by adding to WINE http://code.google.com/wine.html [google.com] even when developing their own proprietary software.

Missing the point!! (1)

protich (961854) | more than 8 years ago | (#15599431)

The technology might not fly...that is not the point. The most important take is the fact that an ex-M$ guy doing linux work!! He must know something to have a change of heart and part with windows!! That is the point.

Makes me think (3, Interesting)

Bombula (670389) | more than 8 years ago | (#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 (3, Insightful)

ClosedSource (238333) | more than 8 years ago | (#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.

Re:Makes me think (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15599953)

"..I think the PATRIOT Act changes that, actually, but be that as it may..."

Well that would land you square in the lap of the clueless majority then...congrats...fitting in is the most important thing in the world...

Re:Makes me think (1)

Bombula (670389) | more than 8 years ago | (#15600820)

Well that would land you square in the lap of the clueless majority then...congrats...fitting in is the most important thing in the world...

Your post is largely incoherent, but if I'm not mistaken I detect sarcasm and an accusation that, like the 'majority' of people I am 'clueless' about the PATRIOT Act. In which case, I refer you to this statement from the ACLU:

"For centuries, common law has required that the government can't go into your property without telling you, and must therefore give you notice before it executes a search. That "knock and announce" principle has long been recognized as a part of the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution.

The Patriot Act, however, unconstitutionally amends the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure to allow the government to conduct searches without notifying the subjects, at least until long after the search has been executed. This means that the government can enter a house, apartment or office with a search warrant when the occupants are away, search through their property, take photographs, and in some cases even seize property - and not tell them until later.

Notice is a crucial check on the government's power because it forces the authorities to operate in the open, and allows the subject of searches to protect their Fourth Amendment rights. For example, it allows them to point out irregularities in a warrant, such as the fact that the police are at the wrong address, or that the scope of the warrant is being exceeded (for example, by rifling through dresser drawers in a search for a stolen car). Search warrants often contain limits on what may be searched, but when the searching officers have complete and unsupervised discretion over a search, a property owner cannot defend his or her rights.

Finally, this new "sneak and peek" power can be applied as part of normal criminal investigations; it has nothing to do with fighting terrorism or collecting foreign intelligence."

How's that for clueless?

"whole lives bound up" (3, Insightful)

l3v1 (787564) | more than 8 years ago | (#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.

Re:"whole lives bound up" (3, Interesting)

cmorriss (471077) | more than 8 years ago | (#15600737)

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. We'll see...

Bastards. (0, Troll)

Tim (686) | more than 8 years ago | (#15599464)

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 startup's ass in the marketplace....

Re:Bastards. (2, Interesting)

univgeek (442857) | more than 8 years ago | (#15599793)

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, 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.

Have fun!

Re:Bastards. (1, Flamebait)

Tim (686) | more than 8 years ago | (#15600182)

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 that life is pretty good for the few percent of you who happen to be in the highest social castes. And as long as we ignore your atrocious public health system, your incredibly high infant mortality rate, and your massive problems with pollution and poverty, then yeah, life in India is just peachy.

Skilled labor in is expensive in the US because we have a high standard of living. If we allowed our infant mortality to skyrocket, if we allowed hundreds of thousands of our citizens to suffer and die from malaria, tuberculosis, dysentery and other wasting diseases due to poor sanitation, and we allowed thousands more to suffer and die from diseases that we have been all but eradicated in the first world (such as polio), then yeah, we might be able to compete with Bangalore on price. But then, we also might have to give up on our university system, shit in our water supply, and otherwise pollute the hell out of our land, water and air. Sounds like a good deal to me!

If India spent half as much money caring for their poor and suffering as they do trying to suck white-collar jobs from the US, I might believe you when you tell me that people in your part of the world need "web services." But from my perspective, you need doctors and mosquito nets a hell of a lot more than you need .NET programmers.

Re:Bastards. (3, Insightful)

MarkWatson (189759) | more than 8 years ago | (#15600515)

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. (3, Interesting)

Tim (686) | more than 8 years ago | (#15601748)

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?

Re:Bastards. (1)

univgeek (442857) | more than 8 years ago | (#15603304)

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 going to get out of the mess that the British left behind (we didn't help much by closing out economy for 40 years, but that's a tale for another day, and hind-sight is 20/20), is with education for the masses, and jobs for those who are capable.

How do we bootstrap this? We can either get investments from outside (we're not getting as much as China though), or we can 'steal your jobs' and make money out of that. How can some of us 'steal your jobs' if we don't have sufficient education? For that matter, a country of a billion people needs a lot of high-tech equipment, just to run the place. You think 1000MW power plants get created on their own? Or perhaps you suggest we just import those? With what money?

There's a Govt. owned telecom manufacturer called CDoT. Before they started making telecom switches, the private MNC's were charging an arm and a leg - India could not afford that cost. Once CDoT started making the switches here - prices dropped dramatically, overnight.

High-tech is needed for things to be more efficient, for us to be able to afford it. Think about governance and the problem of distributing information to all the people. E-governance web services and high-tech networking infrastructure, will hopefully make this cheaper, easier, and better. Who's going to set this up for us? Perhaps we need to get IBM to do it for us with American workers?

You seem to believe that we have made a conscious choice to stay poor and keep our labor costs low. We *will* improve the quality of life of all our 1 billion people - it's not something that can happen overnight. It's not something that'll happen in a decade.

Tom, you can stay with your opinion that we're in a hell-hole we dug out of choice. Nothing I say can lead you out of that. All I can say is that's absolutely not the truth, and about as far from the truth as one can imagine.

But we will get out. And if getting out requires a few jobs lost, a reduction in the standard of living, higher prices for oil/energy, for some first-world countries with a few tenths of our population - then we're not going to cry over it.

Re:Bastards. (1)

Tim (686) | more than 8 years ago | (#15603445)

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. Did you, personally, choose this state of affairs? Of course not. But that doesn't change the fact that you can undercut our labor costs because you undercut our standard of living...and you mostly do this on the backs of your poor citizens.

How do we bootstrap this? We can either get investments from outside...or we can 'steal your jobs' and make money out of that.

I never used the word "steal"...that's your wording. My feeling is that US politicians are to blame for this mess. Our country should have the foresight to regulate the kind of intellectual labor that goes overseas.

As far as "bootstrapping" India, however, I don't accept your premise. It isn't the US white-collar worker's responsibility to bring Indian quality of life up to first-world standards. India has one of the largest populations of any nation on the earth. I'm sure, if you tried, you could find a way to build an economy on the backs of your own people. You know why you aren't? It's quicker and easier for you to undercut the costs of American workers.

a country of a billion people needs a lot of high-tech equipment, just to run the place. You think 1000MW power plants get created on their own? Or perhaps you suggest we just import those? With what money?

So...those "technology parks" popping up all over Bangalore are making electricity for you now? How about the nice new condominiums for all of those white-collar Indian workers? And the .NET programmers...are they building new power plants with their American CS training? Are they curing malaria? Buying mosquito nets for the Untouchables?

I didn't just fall off of the turnip truck. The vast majority of the newly-created wealth in India is concentrated amongst the citizens who are already well-off. In this respect, you are no different than the US. Our politicians have created a very efficient wealth transfer machine -- it moves money from the US middle-class, to the US upper class, with a small amount of that diverted to you, the Indian upper-class. But don't delude yourselves: when you become too expensive for our executives, our money will go elsewhere.

Re:Bastards. (1)

univgeek (442857) | more than 8 years ago | (#15604082)

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 technological advances would help alleviate poverty and bring the standard of living up. That's happening - but it'll take generations.

Building out of our own resources - now that's quite funny. What do you think America and the West built their fortunes out of in the 18th, 19th and early 20th centuries? Colonialism and trade. Buying Indian raw materials, processing them and selling them back at huge profits, while using the army and laws to prevent factories in India. While the USA was not a participant in India, it did take over the lands of the native population - colonialism of a different kind.

We did try for a very long time, ~40 years, to bootstrap ourselves without outside resources. Didn't work. We realised it when we were very close to being bankrupt. We had to change and we did. We followed what the West said - 'Free trade, remove barriers, ...' Now, when we are finally reaping some of those benefits, and we actually have the intellectual and financial capital to take on your work, individuals are being affected in the US, and you who have a voice, make a noise.

Thing is you seem to be looking for dichotomies - .NET programmers don't bring health or education or shelter, so there's no need for them. You refuse to see the ripple effects of this wealth and education. My grandmother stitched clothes for a living. My grandfather couldn't finish school, joined the railways, and worked his way up. Today, I personally know of an engineer who is the first educated member of his family - he probably supports an extended family of 10 - he'll make sure his family gets educated.

Are inequities increasing? Sure, it's not all good. Is there a better way of increasing the standard of living for more people? Answer that, and you'll be God for a billion people.

And we are using this advanced tech to build better things for ourselves - when our local market really takes off, it's in the infant stages so far - YOUR companies will be fighting for access to our markets. I hope that you'll be able to make money off of that.

We will depend on the American and other first-world markets to bootstrap. Once we do, we will have enough of a local market that we will be able to scale more rapidly. See telecom in Japan or South Korea for an example.

Have fun!

Re:Bastards. (1)

homer_s (799572) | more than 8 years ago | (#15600968)

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?

Re:Bastards. (1)

AngryDill (740460) | more than 8 years ago | (#15600826)

I find myself hoping that Microsoft kicks a startup's ass in the marketplace....

Don't worry, they will

-a.d.-

Web Based != access everywhere (2, Insightful)

bigtrike (904535) | more than 8 years ago | (#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.

Re:Web Based != access everywhere (1)

ems2 (976335) | more than 8 years ago | (#15599688)

That would be the reason why 9P [bell-labs.com] isn't web-based. Ken Thompson [wikipedia.org] and Rob Pike had some good understanding of making a good design.

Access is only part of the equation (1)

ClosedSource (238333) | more than 8 years ago | (#15599485)

"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 with restricted resources don't work well with generic solutions. An application that must run on a platform with a tiny screen, a limited keyboard, and no mouse should be designed from the ground up specifically for that class of platform.

Re:Access is only part of the equation (1)

pho3nixtar (924810) | more than 8 years ago | (#15603519)

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 (2, Interesting)

FSWKU (551325) | more than 8 years ago | (#15599507)

"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, and that's the way I like it.

This way, if I forget to pay my internet bill, or my wireless bill, etc., I don't lose my files. They're still on my computer, and I can still use them. All I have to do is be at the machine.

Re:Maritz Needs A Clue (1)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 8 years ago | (#15601667)

True ... my solution to the problem of a "single dedicated computer" is to have multiple non-dedicated computers.

Summary: (1)

TadZimas (921646) | more than 8 years ago | (#15599511)

Ex-microsoft lackey who managed to get out before Win ME hit tries to start web-services company.
"Give your information to me" Maritz exclaims "It'll be perfectly safe. All of our servers run Windows Vista, and your documents will be saved in Word!"
The business plan balances on 3 essential features
1: Relying on cheap indian labor to write sloppy code, which is then labeled "Open Source" (Except stuff written by the CEOs, who A: benefit from the company's very nice "Software Royalty Program for all code that is not open source", and B: Prevent OS efforts from actually making use of the OS code to make a competetive business). This open-source code is then bug-fixed for free by the happy Open Source elves, all non-executives are fired/turned into janitors or server maintainers, and the service gets offered for free (Until it gains a market share, when it raises at 10 cents/month^2 until step 3)
2: ???
3: PROFIT!

I can already access my system from anywhere (3, Insightful)

Bent Mind (853241) | more than 8 years ago | (#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.

So many negative comments.. (3, Interesting)

deepb (981634) | more than 8 years ago | (#15599652)

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 time. They're all stored in my gmail account.. have a blast.

Either way, ensuring privacy is a very easy problem to work around. For any documents that contain trade secrets or corporate financial data, it's almost trivial to add a layer of encryption (even at the point of user interaction) to eliminate unauthorized access. If PI is planning to market their services to large corporations, some form of user-controlled encryption will need to be built-in to comply with Sarbanes-Oxely/HIPAA/etc, so I doubt this will even be an issue.

A couple people have pointed out that Internet access is required for this model to work, and that's absolutely correct. Even today, my electricity goes out more than my Internet access does, and when that happens, I just use my cell phone & laptop. I would argue that most of their target customers are already in the same situation I am, and if not, they'll be there in time for the release.

Concept over implementation (1)

buckles (168018) | more than 8 years ago | (#15600393)

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]

Re:Some things just aren't worth the risk (1)

symbolic (11752) | more than 8 years ago | (#15601692)


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).

Re:Some things just aren't worth the risk (1)

deepb (981634) | more than 8 years ago | (#15602062)

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 would be safer stored with them than it would be stored on my own PC. Sure, I could build out a mini-datacenter with 99.999% uptime, and then build an identical DR site.. but why go through all that trouble?

I find it funny that most people who disagree with this idea are mentioning MS Office. So the single point of failure chosen to store "mission critical" documents is an Internet-connected PC running Windows. I think a few posters in this thread could benefit from a brief overview of risk analysis.

Just out of curiousity - what are your views on safe deposit boxes? Do you trust the bank not to look through your stuff? They obviously have a key (and if they say they don't, why take the risk?). I wonder how that idea ever took off.. I won't even get into public storage rentals..!

Re:Some things just aren't worth the risk (1)

symbolic (11752) | more than 8 years ago | (#15616676)

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, everyone joined in.

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.

Inferno (1)

ems2 (976335) | more than 8 years ago | (#15599672)

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 (2, Interesting)

thaig (415462) | more than 8 years ago | (#15599814)

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 mechanics of how it moves around. I think so because I appreciate simplicity and I think that other people do too unless they are hooked on "messing around with gadgets."

I find Gmail useful because I can get to all my messages from anywhere and I don't need to stuff my pockets with devices or manage the disc space on them them or find a charger that works in country X or put up with the sometimes rubbishy software.

Gmail is like a worldwide clipboard too - you can be anywhere and put new links, travel details, addresses and phone numbers etc into it (a draft message) and can search through later on to find something - much better than post-it notes.

So - good for Paul Maritz and his efforts. I had better declare 2 reasons for bias, though:
1) He was born in Zimbabwe like me although he was brought up in South Africa.
2) He has flown a Hawker Hunter at Thunder City (a place in Cape Town where you can fly old British combat jets) and in some odd way I admire him for doing what I would like to do. I want to fly in the awesome BAC Lightning, though.
http://www.thundercity.com/tiger_paul.htm [thundercity.com]

Yawn (2, Insightful)

mattpointblank (936343) | more than 8 years ago | (#15599944)

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 browser - am I alone in this?

Re:Yawn (1)

maximthemagnificent (847709) | more than 8 years ago | (#15599990)

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

Re:Yawn (1)

deepb (981634) | more than 8 years ago | (#15601673)

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.

Re:Yawn (1)

chawly (750383) | more than 8 years ago | (#15603917)

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.

No data stored on web (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15600271)

Using an application from the web might be ok, as long as the data is processed and stored on my computer Not on the applications site. I'm not that trusting yet. Companies come and go, and there goes your data. Plus they change their terms of use all the time. ATT just changed theirs and now claim they own your personal information.

Still thinking Microsoftian (1)

BumpyCarrot (775949) | more than 8 years ago | (#15600626)

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.

Brings to mind (1)

Grand Facade (35180) | more than 8 years ago | (#15602425)

Sun's old motto

"The Network IS the computer"

Re:Brings to mind (1)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 8 years ago | (#15602450)

Yeah well ... that didn't work for Sun either.

Long distance relationships. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15603283)

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

ASP [wikipedia.org]


An application service provider (ASP) is a business that provides computer-based services to customers over a network. Software offered using an ASP model is also sometimes called On-demand software. The most limited sense of this business is that of providing access to a particular application program (such as medical billing) using a standard protocol such as HTTP.

Information Yes, App's No (1)

cjb110 (200521) | more than 8 years ago | (#15606425)

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.
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