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Microsoft and Google Duke It Out For the Future

kdawson posted more than 6 years ago | from the send-in-the-clouds dept.

Businesses 297

Hugh Pickens writes "There is a long article in the NYTimes, well worth reading, about the future of applications and where they will reside — on the Web or on the desktop. Google President Eric Schmidt thinks that 90 percent of computing will eventually reside in the Web-based 'cloud.' Microsoft faces a business quandary as it tries to link the Web to its existing desktop business — 'software plus Internet services,' in its formulation. 'Microsoft will embrace the Web while striving to maintain the revenue and profits from its desktop software businesses, the corporate gold mine, a smart strategy for now that may not be sustainable,' according to the article. Google faces competition from Microsoft and from other Web-based productivity software being offered by startups, and it is 'unclear at this point whether Google will be able to capitalize on the trends that it's accelerating.' David B. Yoffie, a professor at the Harvard Business School, says the Google model is to try to change all the rules. If Google succeeds, 'a lot of the value that Microsoft provides today is potentially obsolete.' Microsoft used to call this 'cutting off their air supply."

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Why choose? (5, Interesting)

damburger (981828) | more than 6 years ago | (#21720120)

I don't trust Microsoft running software on my computer and to be honest, after what happened with China, I don't trust Google to store my information online. This isn't tin-foil hat paranoia, I am simply very aware that data is vital to modern free speech (given the advances made in propaganda by those that would deny us the ability to voice our opinions), and its only going to get moreso as time goes on.

Re:Why choose? (4, Interesting)

NeverVotedBush (1041088) | more than 6 years ago | (#21720194)

I agree.

Besides, with a perfectly good, free, open source alternative (i.e. OpenOffice) why should anyone put their data at risk by using some web based application? I'd rather have the software local so I can do the work online or not.

I think the web-based model falls flat as soon as people actually look at what is available for free.

Re:Why choose? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21720206)

So . . .

I sat naked on the bench in the health club locker room, staring at the tiles on the floor between my feet, but really looking at nothing. I was waiting for Jamal to decide to come up and talk to me. He was this muscular teenage nigger who frequented the club and had ruined my life in the last few weeks. I was ordered to sit naked on the bench without a towel or anything to cover my nakedness. I had to keep my legs spread and my cock and balls visible for the anyone In the locker room who wanted a look. I knew instantly that it had been a mistake to sign up at the inner city health club which was eighty percent black, but It was near my house and cheap which was even more important.

The harassment had started on my first visit. Dark skinned, muscular black boys bouncing around the locker room with their huge dicks and pendulous sacks of balls swinging, high fiving each other and laughing and rapping, and there I was, this moderately built white guy of thirty two.

I will never forget coming back from the shower and one chocolate skinned thug of about eighteen let out a "weeeeeeeow" kind of sound and then said very loudly to me, loudly enough for all his pals to hear, "White man, how the hell can you fuck wit such a small dick?" They all roared with laughter and I turned bright red. Before I left that first time, I med Jamal. He eased up to me while I was packing my gym bag. He is one good looking darkie, I will say that for him. He flashed me a big white toothed smile and said he hoped I wasn't thinking of quitting the club. He said he was friends with the manager and they had my address and shit, and it would be really unfortunate if I decided to quit. Then he laid one large basketball player sized hand on my shoulder and said that he would see me at the same time the next day.

Well, that's how it started. It got worse each time I went to the club. Jamal and the other niggers got me to get towels for them, had me scrub their backs in the shower, even made me pick their dirty stinking jock straps up off the floor. They sent their filthy jocks and socks home with me to wash for them.

Now let me state here once and for all, that I am in no way at all gay. I don't think I ever even had a gay thought. So all of this really repulsed me. They would brush up against me so their big fat black dicks rubbed my body. They would make constant jokes about me being a faggot.

So I had it out with Jamal. I told him I was married and in no way gay, and I wanted to quit the club. That mention of my wife was the biggest mistake of my life. Jamal demanded to see a photo of her. Her name is Kathleen. After that, all they talked about was "Kathleen the Cunt" in the locker room.

"Da mailman probably shoving his dick in her right now while you is at da club." They would say things like that. Jamal would ask, "Do you suppose she ever took black dick up the ass?" I told them she didn't like anal, and they should keep their foul mouths to themselves. They beat the shit out of me.

I didn't go to the club for a week. All the windows were broken on my car, and my newspaper was stolen, and somebody pissed all over our door. I received a package at work, and when I opened it, there was a pile of shit in a box. I was going nuts with anguish. I thought of going to the police, but I knew I would face even worse if I did. So I went back to the club. That was two months ago. A lot had happened in those two months.

Now I sat waiting for Jamal to speak with me. He walked up, stark naked. The first thing I saw were his huge brown feet next to me. I looked up at his long muscular legs. How could I miss the seven inch flaccid dick, thick as a flashlight and the ball sack that looked like it had oranges in it. It was fucking obscene. His stomach was hard and tight. His ass was one of those round tight nigger bubble butts. His chest well defined with large nipples. He had a killer smile, thick nigger lips, and dark flashing eyes that often looked drugged. He had only recently gotten out of reform school for molesting a girl on the playground.

"So, my man, how's that little dick of yours hangin'?"

I spread my legs wider so he could see my pathetic shriveled white prick and small ball sack. If I didn't keep myself on display for them at all times, they would have a wet towel snapping session where my scrotum was the target. It hurt like hell and was totally humiliating.

"So, bro, is everything set up for tomorrow?" He stood close to close that his huge flaccid hunk of fuck meat brushed my shoulder. His dick was so huge, it was just fucking obscene, and that was in its flaccid state. He had not showered yet, and his body reeked of the nigger stink of his workout.

"Please. Please don't do this. I know I agreed, but that was after you had beaten me almost senseless. Please, isn't there some other way?"

He lifted one leg and put his foot on the bench next to me. His gigantic balls swung back and forth in their fleshy sack.

"Dere is no other fucking way, man. You don't wanna even think of what we gonna do to you next time you disobeys us. Dere is no other way. Now it so happens dat I needs me a new girlfriend, and your wife fills da bill."

I felt my stomach turn over. I tried to relax, to breath deeply, but I felt like I was choking. This teenage nigger thug was talking about my wife. Kathleen. He had announced to me that he wanted her to become his girlfriend! Jesus Christ!

At first I had bluntly refused, letting my anger and disgust show. All the niggers in the club gathered around me, about fifteen of them, and Jamal announced that I was racially prejudiced and didn't want him dating his wife. They started to slap and punch me.

"It's not that. Honest to God, I swear, it's not that you are black. It's that she's my wife!"

Jamal roared with laughter. "Any bitch need more dick than you got! She probably sucking da boys at work every day anyway." He looked at the photo of her which he had taken from me. "Yeah, she got real cocksucker lips, she shore do!"

"Oh God no, she doesn't like blowjobs." I was crying in front of all of them.

"No, you gots it wrong. She like dick. Dat pussy is ready for some nigger seed!" Half the niggers surrounding me were getting hard ons, and I don't there there was one under eight and a half inches.

For weeks I had argued, begged, pleaded, tried to bargain with Jamal, but he only wanted one thing. My wife's virgin asshole. Once I stood up to them and told them I would go to the police. They had dragged me naked and screaming into the health club bathroom and forced me to eat turds out of the toilet bowl. I was sick for two days. The next time I went to the club, Jamal had made me suck his dick. That was the first time I saw it erect. Over twelve inches of throbbing leaking nigger cock. I had a panic attack and literally tried to run out of the club. They held me down on a bench and Jamal fed me his black fuck meat. His balls almost suffocated me. His dick choked me. He even made me suck his ass. What could I do? I agreed to let them have my wife. I know, I am an awful man. A sinner. It is unforgivable, but I am scared out of my wits.

"So, tomorrow, I comes over to yo house dressed up real good. You introduce me to yo bitch wife. Now when I sees her, dis is how I wants her dressed. A very tight tee shirt dat says printed on it, "I Love Nigga Dick!" She will wear no bra under it so I can see the tips of her titties through the material. Den she is to wear a short skirt, only I don want her to wear no panties under it. From now on, yo wife is forbidden to ever wear any panties. We want dat sloppy cunt and ass ready and available at all times. I want you to have some really top drawer booze at yo house ready for me. I am not sure what I will want, so you better have enough to satisfy me, whatever my taste might be. Who da fuck knows, I may want a cosmo, or maybe some of dat Louis XIII Brandy dat costs three hundred dollars. You better have it all. After I has a drink, you pretty little bitch and I gonna sit on da couch and get acquainted. Dat means you as da husband get to watch me finger her cunt and play wit her titties. You gets to see her meet my big fat old dick and even lick and suck it a little. I always insists on sex on da first date, cause how else you know how a bitch perform, right? Shit, I insist on sex on every date. I mean dat is da only reason for da fucking plow some pussy! Right? Otherwise I'd rather hang wit da home boys. Now she gonna be a little uptight and scared at firs...right? Specially when she see my dick and she know dat huge motherfucker is gonna plow her virgin ass! Oh yea, if she got to shave her pussy. I wanna see bald pussy."

While he said all of this to me at the health club, his dick got thicker and thicker and long strings of pre-fuck started to hang from the fat pisshole.

"Please don't hurt her...please." I was shaking in my naked agony.

"Hurt her? No why the fuck would I hurt my new girlfriend? I gonna love her. I gonna show her da pleasures of lovemaking. Shore, it gonna hurt a little da first time I ram my twelve and a half inch motherfucking dick balls deep into her asshole. Shore it gonna hurt when I pounds her as hard as I can, and den pull out and shove it as hard as I can up her cunt. Shore dat gonna hurt a little, but dat is jus' part of fuckin'. You understand dat. Right? Better to hab some nice boy like me who wants her for his girlfriend fucking her, den every pasty white motherfucker at work who don't give a shit about her.

"Now don't you worry, I gonna take her into the bedroom to fuck her cunt and ass. I think dat is private. I mean, you can watch da first time she suck my balls and lick my dick and such. But fucking is between a guy and his girlfriend. I wants you dere at the the sucking part, cause she is gonna be scared like I say, and you can calm her. Tell her it is a natural part of life, and she just gotta learn to please a man.

Now I am gonna want to use your master bedroom. You can sleep on da couch. I wants a nice big bed and luxury for fucks. I gotta fuck at least three times a day, usually more. Now of course I still going to be bangin' other cunt, but I will fuck your wife regularly cause she is my number one girlfriend. My special bitch. I ain't gonna introduce her to my bros until after I fuck her for a week or so. Den when she broken in, I gonna share her with all da boys from dis here health club. Dere about twenty of us here as you know, so she gonna be pretty busy sucking nigga dick and getting ass and cunt fucked. We gonna do mos' of it over at yo house. You have lots of food dere at all times fo my brothers when dey comes over to fuck your wife. Since she be fucking most every day all day and night from now on, I suggest she quit her job. Dat way, she don't even need to think about work and she can concentrate on nigga cock all da time."

"Please, please use condoms...." I had tears running down my face.

Jamal roared with laughter. "Condoms? We never use condoms. It ruins da fuck. Dat bitch gonna be pregnant in a couple of weeks at mos'. You gonna be da daddy of a nigga chile! And who knows. If she stay tight enough, maybe we fuck her for three or four years, you know, pass her around, pimp her out. Shit. She could hab five or six nigga babies! We don' allow no abortions. She gonna breed. Now my brothers and daddy be comin' over lots to fuck her too, so you better have lots of keys to yo house made, or jus' leave the fucking place unlocked. She don't leave da house without permission. I would hate it for both of you if some black bro comes over for a good hard fuck, and she not dere! Now I know you worried about her. Don' be. After a few days of getting nigga dick, she gonna love it so much, dat all she gonna live for. I seen it in white bitches lots of times. Someday she gonna thank you for all dis. I mean how many girls her age so lucky to get ten to fifteen black cocks a day? Long as her pussy and asshole hold up, she be happy. One thing, she gonna hab to be a really good cocksucker, cause One thig is dat when da boys in my hood meet up wit guys from other gangs...we got dis thing. We hab our girlfriends suck da cocks of all da members of the other gangs, as kind of a peace signal, you know, a sign dat we is kewl and everything is okay. So she gonna pretty much hab a dick in her mouth twenty-four seven for da next few months. She gonna be sucking on nigga dick even when she getting fucked by my bros. Dis house gonna be pretty packed full of black boys! Now, after a bitch has sucked fifteen to twenty dicks a day, she often get a real tired jaw and swollen lips and a sore tongue, so you gonna have to tell her no matter how tired she get, da last dick of da day she suck, gets jus' as good a suck as da first one in da morning. You gotta make sure she understand that. I can't have no bad reports from rival gangs dat my bitch can't suck!

Now we gots one more problem. Da bitch gonna be so busy getting fucked and sucking dick, she ain't gonna hab no proper time to clean up da dicks after dey fuck her cunt and ass! You know it da bitch's job to clean a dick wit her mouth after a brother fuck her. I mean, you can't expect a brother to walk around wit pussy slime or ass juice on his dick. But she gonna be so busy, she ain't always gonna hab time to clean up, so you my friend is going to have to step up to da plate to help her. You gonna be the official dick cleaner. You gonna lick and suck da dicks clean after dey fuck yo bitch of a daughter. I want you naked on you hands and knees at all times around da house, ready to lick and suck dick clean. And you gonna do a fine job too, I just know it. You get all dat stink off da cock. Maybe you can entertain da brothers waiting next in line to fuck yo daughter too by lickig dere balls and assholes. I never thought of dat until just now. Hot damn, dat is a good idea, ain't it? So dey don't get bored while dey waitin. And den, to keep your wife fresh and tight, after every three or four fucks, you gonna crawl in and suck the nigga cum right outta her pussy and asshole. Think how great dat is. You gonna get to suck your wife's pussy and asshole! How lucky is dat? You gonna clean out her cunt real good with yo tongue so it is ready for da next nigga.

We gonna be da happiest family you ever seen! Now come on, white boy, suck my dick, can't you see it dripping all over da floor?"

I put my mouth over the head of the huge leaking hunk of fuckmeat, and resigned myself and my wife to our new destiny.

Re:Why choose? (0, Offtopic)

NeverVotedBush (1041088) | more than 6 years ago | (#21720252)

Ahhh -- the ever present, always predictable attempt to poison any Slashdot forum that puts Microsoft in a bad light.

Which moron are you? Is it Bill or Paul making these kinds of posts?

Don't be stupid. (4, Interesting)

Macthorpe (960048) | more than 6 years ago | (#21721040)

Actually, if you'd taken 5 minutes even to check the stories on the front page, these posts appear on all [] kinds [] of articles [] , not just 'anti-MS' ones.

They probably appear more often on anti-MS articles because you're guaranteed more 'eyeballs' on those comments, so it's a more widespread audience for these trolls to hit.

Mod me off-topic if you like, I just wanted to correct yet another silly Slashdot assumption - this time that Microsoft somehow has a team of people posting stories about black guys with huge cocks. There's never been an iota of proof that they have anyone on here at all, other than in a casual capacity like the rest of us.

Re:Why choose? (4, Interesting)

damburger (981828) | more than 6 years ago | (#21720268)

Exactly. I didn't want to be seen doing an overt plug, but OpenOffice is what I use to avoid placing my trust in either closed-source or an evil document overlord. The good news on this front, is that frankly Google Docs sucks balls as an office package, and the new MS Office interface has alienated a lot of long time users. Its a good time for the free alternative to shine.

M$ is Scared (-1, Flamebait)

Erris (531066) | more than 6 years ago | (#21720486)

the web-based model falls flat as soon as people actually look at what is available for free.

No, some things work better when they are run by an independent third party over the web. Other companies are going to run Google style services on their own but Google has a head start and important mind share. The value of networks is a product of the number of participants and there's lots of collaborative work that Google can offer. User and technical groups, for example, are best run independently of any single company. Schmidt has it right when he says individual tools and Google services are complementary. The only real threat this poses to M$ is a way around M$'s file format lock in, but even there Google is using free formats that M$ can use. M$ can only see Google services as a real threat if they have zero confidence in their ability to compete in a free market (they can't so they are right, ha ha).

People who play nice are going to win. Google is playing nice and they are going to Fucking Kill (TM, Steve Ballmer) M$. If Google quits playing nice, someone else will use the same free tools to run Google out of business.

MODERATORS: Inconsistencies? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21720622)

You sure link a lot to this person's [] journal, who in fact just posted [] to this same article.

You use the same writing style, misspell the same words consistently and use the same "M$" deal on every single post.

Are you posting to Slashdot with two different accounts? Is that even allowed?

Re:MODERATORS: Inconsistencies? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21720876)

Erris = twitter. He is a well-known nutbag that makes genuine open-source advocates cringe nearly every time he posts. It's kind of like how you're trying to talk about your cool comics like 100 Bullets with a hot chick, but then your comic-nerd buddy with the loud, nasally voice comes running over and excitedly showers you both with spittle.

Re:Why choose? (5, Insightful)

Teckla (630646) | more than 6 years ago | (#21720696)

Besides, with a perfectly good, free, open source alternative (i.e. OpenOffice) why should anyone put their data at risk by using some web based application?

With a perfectly good, free online alternative (i.e., Google Docs), why should anyone put their data at risk by having it stored in only one place (i.e., at home) and likely not backed up?

OK, I'm not saying Google Docs is right for everyone, but you seem to be completely dismissing the advantages of having your documents online and ignoring the disadvantages of having your documents offline.

Both approaches (online and offline) will continue to exist and thrive because different people have different needs.

Re:Why choose? (2, Interesting)

NeverVotedBush (1041088) | more than 6 years ago | (#21720856)

There is the rub. All someone or some company has to do is have an extremely basic backup policy in place and that argument goes away completely.

I realize, though, that probably almost nobody in the general public backs up their data, but what of real value does such a user have? Some lost letter to the editor won't ruffle anyone's feathers if they lost it. Probably the more valuable data would be the working files for tax applications.

But few home users will be putting much effort into a presentation, a database, or probably even spreadsheets except those that track bills, investments, etc.

But I would argue that the last place I want to store financial information is on some generic application server.

Re:Why choose? (4, Interesting)

bigman2003 (671309) | more than 6 years ago | (#21720210)

Google makes an incredible search engine.

They also make a LOT of crappy software.

I've got a Google Search Appliance (the hardware/software combo to have a personal Google search). The interface is so bad, I can't believe it was made by a software company.

I run Adsense/Adwords- the interface for that is also atrocious.

Just from those quick examples, I can say that I do *not* welcome our new Google application developer overlords.

All You'll Need Is a Browser and the Web (1)

MOBE2001 (263700) | more than 6 years ago | (#21720640)

I don't trust Microsoft running software on my computer and to be honest, after what happened with China, I don't trust Google to store my information online.

Don't matter. The writing is on the wall and Microsoft is scared to death. In the future, all you will need is a good browser and the web. I even envision the coming of cheap, super-thin, throw-away, wireless browser-pads that you can buy from an automatic dispenser at the airport or at 7-11. The future, you can't escape it.

Re:Why choose? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21721030)

This isn't tin-foil hat paranoia
Yes, yes it is.

Re:Why choose? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21721104)

after what happened with China, I don't trust Google to store my information online. This isn't tin-foil hat paranoia
It is, apparently.

So if google is really cutting off MSes air supply (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21720130)

When is the party going to be?

Re:So if google is really cutting off MSes air sup (2, Funny)

someone1234 (830754) | more than 6 years ago | (#21720270)

I guess, it will be thrown right after the funeral.

Re:So if google is really cutting off MSes air sup (3, Interesting)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 6 years ago | (#21720276)

Never. Replacing Microsoft with Google will ultimately mean nothing. Come meet the new boss [] , same as the old boss [] . You're just replacing one monopoly with another. Proprietary closed-up code and vendor lock-in is bad no matter whose name you attach it to.

Who has more money? Google vs Microsoft (2, Informative)

spineboy (22918) | more than 6 years ago | (#21720464)

Microsoft has 380 Billion in shares.
Google is only worth a paltry 80 Billion in shares, etc.

Re:Who has more money? Google vs Microsoft (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21720686)

finally slashdot shows it's true colors. more money = more evil.
you need know nothing more here.

Linux newb having trouble with OpenGL. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21720140)

I've been a DirectX and Direct3D developer for about six years now. One of my friends who's an avid Linux user said that I should give Linux a try. But I'm having a lot of problems with using OpenGL, the Linux graphics library of choice. It seems a lot less powerful than Direct3D.

All I want to do is take a texture and render it so that pixels with an alpha value of zero are transparent, and those with a non-zero value are rendered using the RGB components of the pixel. But I can't get this to work? Can any of you Linux gurus give me some example code in C that shows how to do this? Or even point me to a web page that explains exactly what I want to do?

Re:Linux newb having trouble with OpenGL. (0, Redundant)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 6 years ago | (#21720170)

I detect an incoming "Offtopic" mod.

Re:Linux newb having trouble with OpenGL. (1)

Columcille (88542) | more than 6 years ago | (#21720208)

I don't really know what you're talking about but a quick Google turned up the following which seems to be what you're looking for: []

Re:Linux newb having trouble with OpenGL. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21720314)

Thank you, my gracious sir! But that is not clear on how to achieve what I want to achieve.

All I want to do is take multiple textures and draw them one after the other. If the alpha value of a pixel in the texture being drawn is 0, the color in the destination buffer is shown. If the alpha value of a pixel is > 0, then that pixel is drawn using the color of the source pixel from the texture, completely overwriting the value of the existing pixel in the buffer.

Re:Linux newb having trouble with OpenGL. (1)

Frank Battaglia (787673) | more than 6 years ago | (#21720786)

You might be able to play with the glBlendFunc parameters to get what you want (but it's not immediately obvious how to do it). The other way would be to write a simple fragment shader.

Re:Linux newb having trouble with OpenGL. (1)

kcbanner (929309) | more than 6 years ago | (#21721122)

...but can you show us the code for how you did this with Direct3D?

Failure is likely (1, Insightful)

QuietLagoon (813062) | more than 6 years ago | (#21720150)

Microsoft faces a business quandary as it tries to link the Web to its existing desktop business

So long as Microsoft is unable to move past the desktop monopoly, Microsoft will fail. Every attempt of Microsoft to find a new and profitable business has relied upon leveraging Microsoft's desktop monopoly. Unfortunately for Microsoft, competitors like Google are making the desktop moot, thereby crumbling Microsoft's very foundation.

Re:Failure is likely (4, Insightful)

NeverVotedBush (1041088) | more than 6 years ago | (#21720232)

I remember reading that the big reason Microsoft went after Netscape by making Internet Explorer free, then cross-seeding parts into the OS, then their monopolistic trade practices was for exactly this reason - Microsoft saw Netscape as a way to undercut their desktop monopoly.

It's kind of fun to watch them get hit with it again and this time by a much more mature and cash-rich adversary.

Great point (3, Insightful)

xzvf (924443) | more than 6 years ago | (#21720332)

The Netscape point shows a great knowledge of computer history. A surprisingly large number of people here probably don't remember when Netscape was not only the dominate browser, but an important development platform. Microsoft will try to hinder innovation whenever the desktop is threatened. Gaming consoles... introduce a product and link it to the PC. WebTV ... buy the company. The next question is, when Google has it's cloud computing monopoly threatened, what will it do to protect itself. Kill net neutrality? Buy it's own wireless spectrum?

Re:Great point (1)

NeverVotedBush (1041088) | more than 6 years ago | (#21720758)

Sadly, I've been around a while. I had to rebuild a lot of people's computers when Microsoft put OS pieces in IE and let people find out on their own that if they uninstalled it, they bricked the OS. At the time I didn't know the real reasons that Microsoft was so intent on blowing Netscape out of the browser market when they were pretty much free, but found out later when I read the charges in the first Microsoft antitrust case.

Microsoft has always fought dirty and probably always will. I don't support them any more.

Re:Failure is likely (1)

RealGrouchy (943109) | more than 6 years ago | (#21720236)

So in other words... "Will 2008 be the year of desktop Google?"

- RG>

Re:Failure is likely (4, Interesting)

Columcille (88542) | more than 6 years ago | (#21720246)

But some of us still like the desktop. My ideal world has me keeping all my data on my computer yet synchronized between my desktop and laptop. So far I haven't found that world but some things have gotten close. Microsoft does a pretty good job of keeping things organized locally, but some of what I need it doesn't handle too well (RSS reader in Outlook is quirky at best, etc). Google has some great online products - I love gmail and google reader - but I want to keep things with me, something more than google gears. iMap for gmail solved that one, but a good, synchronizable RSS reader is still somewhere in dreamworld. As for docs, various sync programs work. Google Docs and other online word processors simply are not an option. Despite what the critics say Word 2007 is a great product and no online product comes close, plus none of them travel with me (I'm aware of upcoming solutions using Google Gears but I still prefer the power of Word 2007).

Just recently I've started playing with a Mac and so far I'm pleased with what it can do. .Mac almost gets my synchronization taken care of. There are several quirks in Mac that I'm trying to figure out, but it might end up being my solution. I'll lose Word 2007, but there are decent enough options on the Mac. We'll see.

All that to say, Google is decidedly not making the desktop moot. I'm sure there are quite a few people out there like me who prefer managing and storing information locally.

Re:Failure is likely (1)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 6 years ago | (#21720738)

My ideal world has me keeping all my data on my computer yet synchronized between my desktop and laptop.
I'm sure there are quite a few people out there like me who prefer managing and storing information locally.
My ideal world has me keeping all my data secure yet synchronized between my desktop and laptop.
I'm sure there are quite a few people out there like me who prefer securing information locally.

How is Google keeping my data secure on their end if I'm using a web based app.

The Hushmail fiasco [] makes me think that there will never be such a thing as a secure web-app.

Re:Failure is likely (1)

Walzmyn (913748) | more than 6 years ago | (#21720760)

I agree wholeheartedly. I would love to be able to move from my light, portable laptop to my big gaming PC and not be able to tell much difference other than horsepower.

Re:Failure is likely (1)

islanduniverse (925110) | more than 6 years ago | (#21721024)

FolderShare (link [] ) could be what you're looking for. When any changes are detected between the shared folder on different machines, they're synced. And the data's not stored remotely.

Re:Failure is likely (1)

BeanThere (28381) | more than 6 years ago | (#21721246)

My ideal world has me keeping all my data on my computer yet synchronized between my desktop and laptop. So far I haven't found that world but some things have gotten close

May I ask why not just get one semi-decent laptop and dock it when not moving about? (I used to have similar problems, and eventually just realised I was wasting lots of time trying to keep both computers sync'd, all software, multiple licenses required for all software etc. - a pointless waste.) You don't even need a docking station, even a USB keyboard/mouse is fine, plus normal monitor.

Re:Failure is likely (1)

Damocles the Elder (1133333) | more than 6 years ago | (#21720350)

Except it won't, any time soon. It's not a matter of whether Google's innovative enough to surpass the utility of MS office. Until we have 100% uptime internet, free WiFi everywhere there's a laptop to take advantage of it, and wireless connections that never drop ever (the last two of which aren't likely to happen in our lifetime), people aren't going to say "Whoops! Drop everything, I want to write my stuff with an online program!"

And that's not even touching the would-be-bandwith-intensive graphical apps that people would have to drop to be truly "online", like Photoshop and Flash.

Like it or not, the desktop monopoly isn't going to be broken this way.

Re:Failure is likely (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21720358)

How exactly is the success of Xbox related to leveraging desktop OS monopoly?

Re:Failure is likely (2, Interesting)

Reality Master 201 (578873) | more than 6 years ago | (#21720568)

The desktop monopoly gave them the billions of dollars needed to enter a market, sell units at a loss, and buy developers to write games for their platform.

You probably could have come up with that if you'd given it a half second's thought.

MS have tried moving off-desktop (4, Insightful)

EmbeddedJanitor (597831) | more than 6 years ago | (#21720374)

... and failed dismally. MS knows that the desktop is limited and dying but they don't know how to get way from it.

They have tried Windows CE which still has a shrinking market share in phones, but attempts to leverage the desktop experience, so is doomed.

They've tried tablets... at least 4 times now... and these still get mindshare at MS because they are Billy-boy's pet PC format. Again, doomed because they try to make the tablet into a desktop-like device.

It is often said that excessive success brings about a downfall. For MS this is true. The desktop has been so successful for them that they are not able to see past it.

Re:Failure is likely (1)

thanatos_x (1086171) | more than 6 years ago | (#21720406)

Other than using the massive amount of cash available to them from their desktop business to run at a loss indefinitely until they achieved a profit, the x-box and 360 have been successful; They've had hiccups, but Microsoft certainly isn't in an undesirable position in the gaming market.

The Zune is also showing *some* success, and I believe the 2nd generation line has actually seen some shortages in availability. I don't doubt that Microsoft will remain a competitor in this market for at least a few more years, and while I don't see them overcoming apple's lead anytime soon, I do see them doing to the iPod what the mac has done to the PC in recent years. The Zune (from my understanding) isn't overly reliant on their windows platform (or rather if some other platform took hold over the next 2 years they'd be able to adapt the Zune just fine.)

Now for other Microsoft offerings, this seems to be at least partially true - Most of their consulting software business is heavily tied into making windows work well (with some support for Unix/Linux - making PCs talk to linux servers for example, but likely nothing for linux on the desktop.) Personally I don't see the traditional desktop/laptop going obsolete in the near future. Not everything a corporation does needs to be mobile, and there's a long way to go until mobile is able to overcome certain flaws. Desktop based software is still far more capable than even dedicated web-based solutions. True for basic word editing it's about the same, but no one will argue that any web-based solution comes close to excel or powerpoint.

The desktop will remain relevant for the foreseeable future, due to it's inherent speed and functional advantages. It's also cheap, and a mobile solution will require significant investment in hardware to run the servers and software changes to make everything work as it should.

Re:Failure is likely (1)

gyrogeerloose (849181) | more than 6 years ago | (#21721152)

Other than using the massive amount of cash available to them from their desktop business to run at a loss indefinitely until they achieved a profit, the x-box and 360 have been successful; They've had hiccups, but Microsoft certainly isn't in an undesirable position in the gaming market.

Not really. They've done okay in the U.S. market, but poorly elsewhere in the world. Sure, the U.S. is a huge market but the European Union a bigger one and the PS3 has it locked up. Also, Microsoft has been playing fast and loose with it's sales statistics by reporting units shipped, which isn't the same thing as units sold since it's counting Zunes which are still sitting in retailer's warehouses, not in consumer's hands.

The Zune is also showing *some* success, and I believe the 2nd generation line has actually seen some shortages in availability.

That shortage is artificial--Microsoft only had a very small number of the second generation Zunes assembled. Whether this was just to see how well it was received before committing to building a huge number of them that have to be sold off later at fire-sale prices (as the first generation Zunes were) or to create the illusion of a demand is a topic for debate.

Re:Failure is likely (1)

gyrogeerloose (849181) | more than 6 years ago | (#21721182)

Microsoft has been playing fast and loose with it's sales statistics by reporting units shipped, which isn't the same thing as units sold since it's counting Zunes which are still sitting in retailer's warehouses, not in consumer's hands.

Oops, that should have read "it's counting X-boxes which are still sitting in retailer's warehouses."

Re:Failure is likely (4, Insightful)

Aphrika (756248) | more than 6 years ago | (#21720608)

That's very true, but if everything's online, you still need a desktop or sorts to be able to get to it. If you've got a desktop of somekind, you'll want to be able to do other stuff with its capabilities too, not just access the web.

Without a desktop - be it Windows, OSX, iPhone, Symbian etc. - Google wouldn't be accessible, or exist.

I think that long-term you'll see a compromised middle ground appear. Information needs to be centralized and always available, and the computing power used to act on it needs to be localized. Information in a single place can end up being virtually useless if you can't get to it, and the frustrations of not having local computing power to hand are exactly what killed mainframe and thin-client computing.

So, I think you'll see a dominant online Google (aren't they already?) and a still-powerful client/server-bound Microsoft. They're both companies that have their fingers in a lot of pots - some successful, some not, but it's in the public interests that they both exist, if either one extinguished the other, it would be bad for everyone.

The answer is obvious (5, Funny)

FoolsGold (1139759) | more than 6 years ago | (#21720162)

Microsoft will just try to buy-out this "Internet" thingy so it's no longer a threat.

In the future, Duke is out. (0)

CrazyJim1 (809850) | more than 6 years ago | (#21720190)

Does vaporware run on a cloud?

Re:In the future, Duke is out. (1)

VampireByte (447578) | more than 6 years ago | (#21720328)

Yes, once it travels through the tubes.

both (1)

microtubules (1197247) | more than 6 years ago | (#21720198)

here's what I want. As if anyone cares. Web based CAD programs so people can cooperate in design. Of course they need incentive to do so. The design would be able to be saved either locally or on the web. Simulations and prebuilt components can be located on a web server . That way everyone has the same parts to look at. And people should get paid by how a product sells. Not everything would be OK to build of course so someone would decide which design to mass produce. I am available to write programs ,and of course I have many more great ideas.

Re:both (1)

NeverVotedBush (1041088) | more than 6 years ago | (#21720794)

What a succulent target for industrial espionage - work as it is happening, innovations as they happen, possibly patentable ideas.

You can bet everything you have that the Chinese and French would be all over breaking into something like that.

Re:both (1)

microtubules (1197247) | more than 6 years ago | (#21720948)

The whole patent system is messed up anyway .It does no one but big corporations any good. How many ideas are kept in someones head because they are afraid to tell? I recently got information on getting a patent. a summary of it was. Step 1 $1000 Step 2 $2000 Step 3 wait 1 to 4 years I forget the other 2 steps but they had large dollar amounts I don't know which step profit! was . It wasn't on the list. But thank you for listening . I'm not saying I have all the details And as far as the French and Chinese. Hmm ,maybe we should have thought of that before building a WWW.

Re:both (1)

microtubules (1197247) | more than 6 years ago | (#21721072)

Oh yeah . And if I research a device myself online ,who's to say I'm not being watched?

Define "cloud." (5, Interesting) (1195047) | more than 6 years ago | (#21720204)

Whether applications and data predominantly reside on servers controlled by corporate entities may be asking the wrong question. Considering the exponential increase in Internet connected devices, coupled with increased processor power and bandwidth attached to single devices, the very definition of "server" may be about to change. Let IPV6 get rolled out on a massive scale, and the line between what's a server and what's a client device may become extremely blurry. This creates an environment ripe for the development of new client layers and application models, operating on a much more distributed scale than we're seeing now.

In other words, take the Google model of massively distributed computing and apply it to the whole ecosystem of net-enabled devices. The future will probably be a lot weirder than we think.

your whole model needs to be re-evaluated (2, Funny)

turing_m (1030530) | more than 6 years ago | (#21720542)

Really? I think you can only leverage the thin client model so far before the synergies dry up and you reach fundamental architectural limitations. As the envelope is stretched from web 2.0 to web 2.1 and expanded to breaking point with web 2.1 service pack 1, we may see a resurgence in peer to peer abstracted database solutions enmeshed in a pastiche of performant but robust virtualization layers.

In other words, take the consulting model of highly topical verbose lexicon, and apply it to a popular internet forum to dampen the signal to noise ratio. Think of the possibilities!

As requested. (1) (1195047) | more than 6 years ago | (#21720902)

I filtered my model through the catch-phrase generator one more time, and realized I forgot all about:

1. Paradigm Altering Conditions

2. Social Discordance Trends

3. Micro-Economy Utilization Vectors

Thanks for the feedback! I feel much better now.

Re:Define "cloud." (3, Insightful)

hey! (33014) | more than 6 years ago | (#21720642)

Well, let me give you an alternative definition I sometimes use for "database": A database is a collection of information that is governed by a single, identifiable set of enforceable polices.

The reason I sometimes trot this odd, non-technical definition out is that planners sometimes get tripped up over questions like "should we have one database or many databases?" However, it's often question that doesn't mean what they think it means. Placing all your eggs in one database basket doesn't unify them into a working system. It doesn't tell one part of your organization what the other is up to. It doesn't mean that giving one group control over a certain set of data gives them any other rights they shouldn't have. On the other hand, an "isolated database" may consume or produce data from other databases in a way that implies controlling that physical resource isn't the whole story about controlling data quality or limiting data distribution.

The point is that the number of "databases", if you count them the way a database platform vendor would, is really just an implementation detail.

The question you raise about the definition of "server" has already been raised by projects like Seti@Home or As a contributor to such projects, your control over your "slice" of the massive project is limited pretty much to opting in or out. Arguably with the distributed systems that are common for high traffic Internet sites, for electronic data interchange systems of nearly any kind, even for a simple server cluster, an individual server is not really all that important.

The important questions for a project include: Where is the bulk of policy created? How are policies enforced? What are the options and rewards, if any, offered to participants?

While "servers" as we think of them are a key part of the infrastructure, we're well beyond the point where they are a single point of control for a major project.

the best quote (3, Insightful)

fermion (181285) | more than 6 years ago | (#21720238)

TO Mr. Raikes, the company's third-longest-serving executive, after Mr. Gates and Mr. Ballmer, the Google challenge is an attack on Microsoft that is both misguided and arrogant. "The focus is on competitive self-interest; it's on trying to undermine Microsoft, rather than what customers want to do," he says.

If we need proof that MS is the new IBM, i.e. delusional in the belief that it is the one and only solution for the customer, this is it.

It is certain that MS now has one of the best solution for corporate on the PC. It is equally certain due to the overhead incurred to defend and maintain the PC, MS does not have the best solution for the home PC. By maintaining the applications on a central server, for free or nearly free, Google has the benefits of the central server in IBM days with the cost benefit that MS supplied. Add to that the idea that many people would now would be happy with an appliance, recall that many people do not work in an office, and one has an opportunity for competition. MS is not doing well in the living room, only in the game room.

I wonder if MS can live in a world where it does not get a cut out of every PC sold. Where more machines, like the OLPC, are not designed to run MS Windows, and therefore cannot be catagorized as a pirate's dream machine if sold naked, or with a non-MS OS. I wonder how many web designers are going to continue to design IE only websites if only 10% of the population browse using a non-MS compatible hardware.

MS creates adequate products, but like IBM they have it wrong. Google is not the arrogant company. MS is. By creating a new os that costs more than the computer. By not suppling IE to all major OS. By waiting 5 years to admit that multiplatform means more than just running on different versions of MS Windows, and interoperability is not bad for the end user.

Let me also say that I would not use Google Apps, not for anything important, but I am not the target audience. I can maintain my own machine and download and install OSS. The world where everyone uses google is not much less scary than the world we are in now. OTOH, at least my office might not tell me that everyone uses MS, and that is all they will support on the website.

Re:the best quote (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21720798)

Dear Clueless,

I live in a world where people value there privacy and have no interest whatsoever in storing there information online, especially private docuements. I also live in a world that plays games and has unreliable and relatively slow internet connectivity. While I live in this world online applications will never dominate no mater how good or how sexy they are. I will use a text file on my machine before I resort to using an online word processor. Google is flogging a dead horse with limited appeal, yes it will meet with some success but I think the majority of people are more like me and no matter how free it is I will continue to refuse to use it as I am no longer in control of my information if I do.

Re:the best quote (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21720838)

I think it will be the best of both worlds. To go back to a Car analogy, Your own personal PC is like you own personal car. You can do a lot with it, it is very flexible, but you have the expense and responsibility to maintain it. Goole or web based apps are like public transport. Anyone can use it, the cost is low per use (or free) but it's not very flexible, you cant add the features and services you want, and someone else is responsible for maintaining it.

local v server application: pro/con (1)

Grampaw Willie (631616) | more than 6 years ago | (#21720282)

a locally installed app generally runs better

and is more trouble to maintain

how does this play in the market?

generally people do not want to fuss with their 'puters: they want an appliance they can take out of the box and just run

that is why most 'puters are sold with software already installed

running all apps off the net would have one considerable advantage: the computer "appliance" could be made non-modifyable

that doesn't mean you would never run an infected program but if you re-boot the computer you get a fresh start

and so you would re-boot before accessing anything sensitive

Desktop For Me (5, Insightful)

denalione (133730) | more than 6 years ago | (#21720286)

As an IT Director my primary concern it the productivity and uptime of my clients. Network based software is IMHO not reliable enough to rely on. Any number of connectivity issues could cause a complete loss of use. With certain applications this is not an option. While developers could mitigate these problems (a small footprint executable that allows me to print something even when the host application is down, for example) I would have a hard time recommending migrating to a primarily web-based office/productivity suite. Too many things out of my control for my comfort. Google isn't who the CEO is going to come to when his secretary can't produce something he needs RIGHT NOW.

Re:Desktop For Me (3, Informative)

Chabil Ha' (875116) | more than 6 years ago | (#21720458)

Our company decided to switch a portion of IT over to these wireless thin clients. They reasoned that maintenance costs would be lower since all the machines would be virtual instances inside a rack of blade servers. Plus, it would make them more mobile inside the building. Good idea, in theory, I suppose.

Then things quickly would grind to a halt because of network bandwidth issues, someone accidentally unplugged an access point, etc. It's a mess. For the first few months we would get periodic emails saying how great it was, when *we* would be moving to 'the workspace of the future', et all. I've stopped getting those emails all of a sudden...

Last I heard they're rethinking the whole ordeal, have now issued everyone *real laptops*, and are remoting into a real PC.

Now, for the real post.

Did we learn anything in the world of main frames? It seems that we've come full circle from the time where we all had to take turns for CPU cycles...We've gone from 'dumb terminals' to the PC revolution, to the 'network' and now back to centralized, smart-dumb terminals again. Please, lets go back to the desktop PC before its too late...

Re:Desktop For Me (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21720802)

This is not really a problem with thin clients, rather, I think it's an implementation issue. If you use wired network instead of wireless network, I'm sure a lot of the bandwidth issue would be solved. As for people unplugging access points, well, I don't think even laptops work very well when shared network drives/mail servers disappear.

Re:Desktop For Me (3, Interesting)

ciaohound (118419) | more than 6 years ago | (#21720684)

I don't know what size organization you have, but mine is small. I can tell you that the economics of developing anything in-house are quickly shifting to prohibitive. For the applications that we have deployed recently, it was cheaper to just have the vendor host the data rather than build out our own infrastructure and host it ourselves. It's true that when our connection has a problem, we're dead in the water, but compared to the cost of staff to maintain the infrastructure and applications, it is negligible.

Re:Desktop For Me (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21720740)

I agree, even now if we loose the internet connection at the work - it's crippling but we can still work locally. Have intranet issues, even worse. Have either happen when all your apps are web based running on a google server - that's business suicide.

Let's also take a moment to think about the number of lawsuits that would happen if anything bad happens on the google servers? Imagine their servers getting hacked and data deleted or they have hardware failures and there's data corruption. Even if they are able to restore that data, that loss of time would result in millions if not billions of dollars of damage and i would guess enough lawsuits to literally force google to go bankrupt.

Re:Desktop For Me (1)

SanityInAnarchy (655584) | more than 6 years ago | (#21720792)

As an IT Director.... Google isn't who the CEO is going to come to when his secretary can't produce something he needs RIGHT NOW.

Here's a frightening thought, though: Google, and other web services, may be the reason the CEO decides he doesn't need an IT Director, or even an IT Department.

I hope that's not the case everywhere, if only so we don't end up with a monopoly, but that's exactly the way it is at our company. Small company, we basically have a NAS in a box for local filesharing, there's a printer somewhere (that I never use). We use Gmail for corporate email, Google Docs for actual, printable documents. We keep our version control on a Subversion server provided by CVSDude, and we now use Trac for project planning, bug tracking, and its built-in Wiki for documents that are meant to be common (been migrating away from Google docs for that).

So, basically, our in-house IT consists of being a software company, thus every employee at least knows how to admin their own machine (install Windows and such). Any of the stuff I keep wanting to do, as a Linux admin -- a VPN, a real fileserver/mailserver, and so on -- are completely irrelevant.

The one thing my admin skills are useful for, now, is EC2. But that doesn't need to be on-site, so it could easily be outsourced if I'm needed elsewhere.

Re:Desktop For Me (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21720906)

What happens when you get employees who aren't developers? Or an employee who isn't familiar with the OS you use?

Sounds neat for a small startup, but I can't see it scaling well.

Re:Desktop For Me (1)

Angst Badger (8636) | more than 6 years ago | (#21721032)

Agreed. Server-based applications may or may not make sense within an organization, depending on the needs of the users, but there aren't too many cases where they make sense outsourced to a third party. Technical folks -- and that would certainly be Google's management in a nutshell -- are too often oblivious to the requirements of doing business. Even if Google (or whomever) could magically provide %99.999 uptime and perfect, reliable connectivity, there are so many reasons not to outsource IT that it baffles me every time someone tries to resurrect the idea. The company I work for could never do this because we deal with public school student data and there are extensive confidentiality requirements involved in student data, as there are with medical and financial data. Even if there weren't regulatory considerations, there's the simple matter of liability. Your customers -- and their lawyers -- are not going to go after your ASP when they drop the ball, they're going to come after you. In house IT may not necessarily be any more reliable than a third party, but there's a lot more incentive to get it right when 100% of your business (and your job, as an IT manager) is on the line than when it's just one of many clients who account for some small fraction of one's business.

Re:Desktop For Me (1)

jo42 (227475) | more than 6 years ago | (#21721100)

One of the things that royally pisses me off about online apps, is one day you log in and the goatse lovers have changed the app - either in a small way or in a significant way. Google is guilty of this with Gmail. Not to mention that I think the Gmail UI is rubbish. With desktop, I don't have to worry about someone 'trying to make my online experience better'.

business apps (1)

midnighttoadstool (703941) | more than 6 years ago | (#21720310)

Perhaps I'm wrong but it does seem to me that for specific business needs coding up a desktop app is hugely quicker than doing it as a web app. And there doesn't seem to be a significant advantage to web apps.

Perhaps one day something even better than Django (or Rails) will come along and equal the power of desktop development, but I don't think it has happened yet.

Re:business apps (4, Insightful)

Bill, Shooter of Bul (629286) | more than 6 years ago | (#21720580)

No advantage to web apps?!? Then why didn't you just write this post as a word document, and email it to us?

slightly re-arranging my words for your benefit... (1)

midnighttoadstool (703941) | more than 6 years ago | (#21720946)

Your wrote : "No advantage to web apps?!?"

and I wrote :

"And there doesn't seem to be a significant advantage to web apps..... for specific business needs."

A business with a specific internal developement requirement doesn't usually require the advantages of web apps, and would save themselves a lot of money by doing it as a desktop app.

well... (1)

pkadd (1203286) | more than 6 years ago | (#21720322)

Microsoft and Google have been strengthening their fronts against eachother for a few years now before the epic battle. Personally i'm just happy that Microsoft has a competitor that not only has the strength required, but also has a very different way of running things, thus resulting in one of them remaining as the evolved winner

What about the users? (3, Insightful)

JustNiz (692889) | more than 6 years ago | (#21720354)

The whole drive to do this seems to be only to facilitate comapnies in making more profit.
What about the users interests?
Honestly it seems very clear to me that suddenly having to be connected to the internet (with all its associated performance and security issues) just to do do something like write or store a document would be a giant step backwards.

I don't get it, something is backassward here... (3, Insightful)

3seas (184403) | more than 6 years ago | (#21720390)

Why run application off the internet or even store data online unless its directly an online internet all accessible use thing like in web pages, blogs, message boards, etc.?
Its not like any company today can't have their own inhouse server for inhouse control and security and online limited access.

With todays desktop system power and terabyte drives isn't it more likely that what's online now can become offline accessible. In other words, its more likely that we move data from online to offline than vise versa. I've recently put together a localhost LAMP/desktop system just because I found wordpress on firefox to be versatile and simple enough for my aging mother to write her autobiography on while dealing with some eye sight problems (ctrl-+/- zooms) with easy pictures addin. And just because its on a system not connected to the internet the export/import function of wordpress allows the data to be put online should she so chose (she could send me a cd for me to import to a family site I set up - but by her choice, not due some leaky internet).
So even internet applications can be moved to the internet disconnected desktop, where there is security and performance in not being connected,.

Certainly any businesss applications no more needs the additional possible failures and security breaches of internet connection, ISP problems and weakest link connection than does home applications with slower or no internet connections.

Sorry Google, but really, your search engine suffers more and more from ad based listings rather than what I'm looking for (i.e. looking for specification information on an old Dell Latitude xp 450c laptop results in endless finding for batteries, power adaptors, etc sellers.... and virtually no links I could find of any use to me.... I can only wonder who all these sellers are selling to.)

Re:I don't get it, something is backassward here.. (1)

teebob21 (947095) | more than 6 years ago | (#21721174)

Your entire comment is valid, although Google is really not at fault for not having the specifications for a laptop that old appearing on the main page. If you're referring to the old 50 Mhz model, this link is the best I could do, even from directly: []

Sustainability wins (1)

GregPK (991973) | more than 6 years ago | (#21720408)

Google, and Microsoft may seem like the bigger players here. But I don't think Google's business model has a chance of winning. Quite simply it's too cheap and with thier primary income coming from advertising and search. How are they going to make money by practically giving you the applications. You'd have to have a link to search of some sort. This becomes counterintuitive to users who don't want to be advertised to while they are typing up thier business plans etc. Microsoft today would need to change thier strategy to creating a simple easy to use web-interface for use with business critical applications. Google has beaten them to the punch with this as anything Microsoft requires browsing through no less than 5-10 links to get what you are looking for. Google does it in under 5 links. I think companies that provide top down solutions for businesses are going to have the largest success in the market. Imagine if you had a web app EIS tool that you could purchase in under 5 clicks that basically lets you within less than 5 clicks find any information you were looking for in your business field because it kept all your data on a secure server. Allowing all your execs to access with thier biometric/password fields.

It is a service--clients pay (1)

imtheguru (625011) | more than 6 years ago | (#21720820)

<i>But I don't think Google's business model has a chance of winning. Quite simply it's too cheap and with thier primary income coming from advertising and search. How are they going to make money by practically giving you the applications.</i>

They sustain it with the support payments from their clients. These prices may well increase over time or as new features are offered. For the moment it is roughly a dollar a week, per user, for the corporate package.

And once you've used the services within your own department, you'll wonder how your team survived without them--think on the lines of platform interoperability.


Waiting for AoC to be released (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21720446)

I'm waiting for the game Age of Conan to be released so I can check it out on my bad ass desktop. Someone from Google can let me know when things like this game and such run in the browser I guess.

Any one who says the desktop and it's software are going away is blowing smoke up your ass.

Consoles. (1)

SanityInAnarchy (655584) | more than 6 years ago | (#21720806)

The sad fact is, just about all need for a "desktop" computer can now be replaced by an Internet appliance and a game console.

Tired old crap (2, Insightful)

dread (3500) | more than 6 years ago | (#21720474)

Remember the JavaStation? No? Remember how all the applications would reside on the network? No? Well, it's been said like seven billion times before and the problem is that the real trend is exactly the opposite one. Applications are becoming increasingly personal. And that, my dumplings, will just continue. Fine, it's just those personalized menus now (which generally are just annoying because it really pisses you off not to be able to find that one thing that you need for that one particular document when you actually do need it) but it will become oh so much more. And this is something which you will want to carry with you. Yes. On you keychain. Together with your desktop. And applications. And documents. You don't want to end up somewhere in Guangzho without your desktop. That would be horrendous.
Storage is cheap and becoming cheaper. CPU cycles are cheap and becoming cheaper. Software is expensive. So what. Most companies don't really mind. And it's not Joe Blow that is earning Microsoft their Office dollars. It's JB Inc. And JB Inc doesn't care if it pays Microsoft 200 dollars. They care if it makes their employees efficient or not. Get dependent on the network in order to do business. I think any company would kill that one in the first SWOT they did.

on demand applications (1)

Froze (398171) | more than 6 years ago | (#21720488)

Don't know if this redundant or not, anyway - my take on the future of user computing lies in the ability of open source software to be downloaded on demand. Windows Update and apt-get in combination with the trend in virtualization are strong pointers in the future of computing. Users will access data that has an associated list of application handlers, these handlers will be cached locally for rapid loading, after they haven't been used for a while they will expire out of the cache until the next time they are needed and be downloaded again. All this will happen with only minimal input by the user to specify the preferred handler. For fee subscriptions to cutting edge development software will allow companies to make a profit until the open source community decides they like the application and re-implement the features and functionality, this of course does not preclude the ability of open source to lead the way as well.

Of course, I could be wrong ;-)

if the web app model works out... (1)

Tumbleweed (3706) | more than 6 years ago | (#21720586)

MS will finally realize what they've done to themselves as a platform company by not supporting web standards. "My apps don't work when I use IE, but they work fine when I use ... ANYTHING ELSE."

I suspect something more along the lines of Adobe AIR or whatnot will be more in line with what people are willing to put up with as far as web-based technology apps go. I don't want to have to have a working net connection just to reread an email I already received, or work on a document, etc.

Just as hardware became commodity ... (2, Interesting)

LaughingCoder (914424) | more than 6 years ago | (#21720670)

... so will the OS. This is because virtualization will render which OS is "underneath" moot. Applications will be delivered with a fully customized OS tightly coupled to it. Big, binary blobs of code+hostOS will be delivered and stored locally in multi-terabyte drives. Data will remain locally stored because nobody will trust having their data flying around the internet for anyone to see or steal. And applications (in the form of pre-installed VMs) will be stored locally so they can be used even when no internet connectivity is available. This, IMHO, is the next wave, and will take 5 to 10 years to play out. Once wireless connectivity is ubiquitous and can provide sufficient bandwidth (gigabit or more), *MAYBE* web-based applications will become more viable, though there still remains the security issue.

If this prediction is true, then Microsoft is still in the driver's seat relative to Google. They are a player in the virtualization market, and they have applications that people will want, albeit in a slightly different form, so they can be run on their Macs, Linux boxes or Windows boxes.

Why not java? (1)

biscon (942763) | more than 6 years ago | (#21720836)

please tell me, why would anyone want to run each application instance in its own VM?. I mean talk about overhead, especially since its perfectly possible to implement a sandbox without having to virtualize the whole machine. If its about security, perhaps if really IS that critical, otherwise programmers just need to do their job better (I am one btw). There is no way in hell I wan't to run 15 complete virtualizations of the same hardware/OS if it isn't strictly necessary (eg. because they're not compatible).
It is not that I am buying into google's webapps everywhere philosophy either.

Actually I don't understand why java webstart apps haven't become popular. They solve most of the problems and Java have been delivering solid performance for most application types since 1.4 (at least a lot better performance than AJAX).

I think SUN should copy .NET's language independence (compile other languages to bytecode). Then we would have a platform AND language independent platform, where starting an application is a simple as clicking on the webstart link.

Re:Why not java? (1)

LaughingCoder (914424) | more than 6 years ago | (#21721202)

please tell me, why would anyone want to run each application instance in its own VM?. I mean talk about overhead
Why do computations in floating point when you can do them in integer? Do you know how many gates an FPU consumes?
Why would anyone want to run more than one application at a time? That means virtual memory, swapping, overhead!
Why would anyone want two or more applications on the screen at the same time! Why, you'd need a 20" monitor, or bigger, to make that useful!
Why would anyone back up their data by making a bit-for-bit image of an entire hard drive? Why burn gigabytes to back up megabytes worth of data?

The history of computers is filled with examples whereby convenience trumps efficiency as soon as technology makes the convenience affordable and/or practical. How long does it take to install a good-sized application? 15 minutes? Half an hour? Even 5 minutes is much too long when you can simply run the VM-app immediately without having to do any install, without having to answer any bizarre or meaningless (to you) questions. If your only argument against my prediction is one of cost and efficiency, you essentially have no argument.

Re:Why not java? (1)

LaughingCoder (914424) | more than 6 years ago | (#21721254)

There is no way in hell I wan't to run 15 complete virtualizations of the same hardware/OS if it isn't strictly necessary
You didn't read my comment very closely. I specifically said "custom" OS. Essentially this means several things. First, there is no reason to bind full-blown Windows to every application if that application only uses a subset of Windows. Further, since the OS is delivered with the application, you likely would have 15 different virtualizations running, not 15 copies of the same one. And each would be sized appropriately. Imagine a game that came with an OS which was highly tuned for gaming with heavily optimized graphics calls, incredible sound APIs, and rich internetworking APIs for head-to-head. This same OS, though, would not have IE, or XML parsing, or even, perhaps, much of a file system. In essence, the distinction between the OS and the application itself would blur. In some ways this is like returning to the roots of software development before OSs, when the one and only application starts up and owns the machine - of course in this case it owns a virtual machine, but the principal is the same. No more DLL hell. No more installation incompatibilities. No more driver issues (well, to be fair, the drivers reside between the VM and the underlying OS and hardware, which is a much better controlled environment than today's hardware-to-OS interface).

Google is crazy (1)

jgarra23 (1109651) | more than 6 years ago | (#21720764)

Bandwidth is simply too much of a variable when considering reliability of data delivery in an application. Never mind all the privacy issues and data theft and such. Ask any exec when dealing with a B2B application where mission-critical data is dependent on an unstable network. As cool as I think Google's web apps are you'll never convince an exec.

Re:Google is crazy (1)

solar_blitz (1088029) | more than 6 years ago | (#21721086)

Bandwidth is simply too much of a variable when considering reliability of data delivery in an application. Never mind all the privacy issues and data theft and such. Ask any exec when dealing with a B2B application where mission-critical data is dependent on an unstable network.
I agree with this. I enjoy my decent DSL service, but the thing likes to phase out on me once every month or so. Why should I use an online application when there's risk of getting cut off from the source? If all our applications were web-based, losing internet access would be like losing your utilities - you could do things, sure, but that's a huge loss in productivity. That's why I believe desktop applications will still be relevant and in-demand for the next few decades: If it's on my computer, all I have to do is turn it on and click on the file. If it's on the web, I have to ensure that (1) my computer's on, (2) my connection's good, (3) my ISP has no problems and (4) Google's servers are up and running. If one of those elements are cut, my productivity is shot.

And another perspective on Google's business model: Google would never have come into existence if we were still using 56.6kbps/dial-up to get onto the internet. That's because almost everything they want to provide almost requires you to have broadband. Today that means Google's software might be most successful in other countries where broadband is as common as indoor plumbing (Sweden, Norway, etc.), but here in the United States where broadband is a luxury I find it hard to believe Google's web-based apps are going to be successful any time soon. But this is another argument for another day, I suppose.

The future lies somewhere in between (1)

Dracos (107777) | more than 6 years ago | (#21720766)

The network cloud won't engulf 90% of computing, maybe 30-40%. Anything that's processor intensive such as high quality graphics production or code compiling will stay off the network for the most part (I'm sure few /.ers are insane enough to use distcc over the internet). Acceptance of over-the-net software will only happen where it makes sense to the user base.

SaaS (software as a service) is a paradigm shift that most people (especially in business) won't latch on to. I prefer to keep my documents off the net until I'm ready transfer them, and I'm sure most individuals and corps agree. I especially don't want to send them over the net to edit them. If MS is going to dictate how SaaS works, then one only has to look at their track record (WGA, and in general) to get a hint of its fate. Also, look at how DIVX (not the codec) failed. Miserably.

The weak link. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21720784)

Google President Eric Schmidt thinks that 90 percent of computing will eventually reside in the Web-based 'cloud.'

Does he really think businesses will trust their data for storage and transmission in the "cloud"?

Remember, the weak link is not the technology (encryption, authentication, etc.). The weak link is having to trust people.

Nobody gets their credit-card number stolen by a hacker who decrypts their SSL stream. In every case, the breach is caused by a trusted employee who sneaks out with the data.

Businesses know this, and they have an instinctive fear of outsourcing their precious data. Of course, their own employees can sabotage just as easily as an outsourcer's employees can. It's purely a psychological issue: The devil you know is better than the devil you don't know.

For Microsoft to win, users must lose. (1)

IGnatius T Foobar (4328) | more than 6 years ago | (#21720834)

So far, I have immensely been enjoying the decline of desktop computing, and the irrelevance of Microsoft to which it will ultimately lead. Microsoft only knows how to play a zero sum game: for Microsoft to win, everyone else must lose. This business model is fundamentally incompatible with the Internet-based software ecosystem. Internet-hosted software is difficult -- maybe even impossible -- to monopolize. Even the mighty Google will have a difficult time taking over everything. Fortunately, Google doesn't appear to have a monopoly in its business plan -- they just seem to be making a big splash with applications that have good architecture and wide appeal.

Software is moving back where it belongs: behind the glass. Maintained in data centers by people who know what they're doing. Hosted on servers running malware-resistant Linux. Accessed from any location, with any device. This is where the future lives, and although Microsoft can maintain an existence in this future, it cannot maintain a monopoly.

Interesting read (3, Insightful)

MLCT (1148749) | more than 6 years ago | (#21720878)

NYT covers the issue well. What struck me from reading it was the impression that Google do have a quick turn around on an idea and an ultrafast motivated and reactive set of employees. While reading the section on Grand Prix I couldn't help but imagine what the development path would have been for such an idea at MS - weekly meetings with 4th tier of management, monthly reports for the 3rd tier of management, quarterly presentations for the second tier of management - then a year into the cycle 1st tier find out about the project and bin it as balmer has been hurling some chairs about and he wants to copy something google or yahoo did 6 months ago.

What also struck me was the tired old soundbites from MS representatives - "The focus is on competitive self-interest; it's on trying to undermine Microsoft, rather than what customers want to do," says Mr. Raikes of Google. Yeah Raikes - your development cycle (or rather complete lack of it for 3+ years after you had destroyed Netscape) on IE fits that quote very nicely. The words from MS all sound a bit wooden - they are trying to come out with all the "we are cool" "googleplex" mentality of roller blading employees who are living the dream - but it doesn't stick - we know how things go on in MS land - the coder who spent a couple of years jumping through bureaucratic hoops of reviews, reports and presentations to simply code the log off button on the start menu for vista tells us that. Gabe Newell got it spot on - MS has become what IBM was when MS were starting up - one vast bureaucracy - MS chided IBM in those days just as Google can rightfully do of MS today. I don't think Gabe extended the analogy, but it fits perfectly that IBM were attempting to cling on to the last of the "mainframe days" back then, just as MS are attempting to cling on to the "standalone desktop days" now. We are entering another paradigm shift - and the more MS say that we aren't the more it confirms that we are.

Hey everything-online guys (1)

spectecjr (31235) | more than 6 years ago | (#21720890)

Call me back when I can write a document online without having to worry about the connection losing it for me.

Nope - computers will be more portable. (1)

pgaffney (247103) | more than 6 years ago | (#21720984)

This is a bunch of hooey. In the future, your desktop computer, camera, cell phone, etc will all be one item. You take this along with your terabytes of storage on said item with you, and when you get somewhere you want to do desktop stuff you plug it into a docking station that does network, video, key board and mouse over some kind of USB v4 interface. The iphone is pretty much already there. It needs to be a little faster, and we need to be able to put openoffice on it, and then we're there.

pie in the sky billionerrors follies (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21721050)

we wouldn't trust either, by way of privacy, or protection against DOWn time, with our data. they're both way too nosey, & subject to attack/arrest for stock markup FraUD. just more corepirate nazi hypenosys. what is their inclination to have everyone using apps/storing inf. on their $erver$?

A war on two fronts (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21721070)

Microsoft faces challenges from Google and Linux. That's two fronts. It is also in a battle with itself. The nonsense about trying to protect DRM using the OS is a real handicap.

Thusfar Microsoft has obtained and held its position using the classic strategies of a monopolist. Those won't work against Linux because Linux can't be bought. Microsoft can't even cut off its air supply.

Even if Microsoft wins its battle against Google, it can't kill Google because Google is a giant even if its online applications don't fly.

Microsoft is in real trouble. Google and Linux are both disruptive technologies. As is typical with disruptive technologies, they will eventually become 'good enough' for the majority of Microsoft's customers.

At this point, given the choice between giving my mother (who lives a thousand miles away) a computer loaded with Ubuntu or one loaded with Vista, I would easily choose Ubuntu. I suspect that many of us would make the same choice. Next year, things will change and more of us would choose Ubuntu. That's the way it works with disruptive technologies.

I have a suggestion for Microsoft. Give the customers something that delights them and doesn't get in their way every five minutes. As it is, Microsoft is driving its customers into the enemy's waiting arms.

Microsoft internet: supporting only IE, IIS (2, Insightful)

JoeCommodore (567479) | more than 6 years ago | (#21721184)

A big problem is Microsoft is not just looking for internet search/data market they want the internet search/data market to run on and only be browsable by Windows (or something other that is totally MS or provides a revenue channel to MS).

While the web apps department may be all OK with just service revenue and advertising the big wigs in other departments will make sure that the 'embrace and extend' goes into their on-line offerings in order to 'encourage' use of Microsoft enabled PCs and servers to fully utilize those services.

I for one am very resistant into inserting intentional quirks and other bits of muck in my web apps to satisfy a non-standard approach to displaying HTML/CSS and help enable it to be more popular. Firefox, Safari, Konquerer, Opera, Galeon, etc. all render my pages fine with the standards, and I don't have to use MS servers, browsers or OSs (though they work fine as well, only not IE, but there are free alternatives).

Also as far as services, from my point of view (Firefox on Linux) many of the MS technology based sites show up as like broken crap to me (does not support my browser, features not working, pages render poorly, etc.)

Google gets it's high marks because they are not locking the customer (business or user) into a specific application or platform; got Linux, Xserve, MS IIS, that's OK, just add this and you are good. Browser? - is it up to date? Then you are good there too. Like many say of OS X, Google internet tools and results usually "Just Work" and if you start there you probably aren't concerned into looking for other places after that.

2co3k (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21721268)

To h7appen. my []

Already Tried It (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21721286)

Google already tried to cut off this city []

Anyone still using Outlook (Express)? (1)

panta rhei (67837) | more than 6 years ago | (#21721288)

Gmail is the perfect example for making the desktop obsolete. There's no more money to be made from email apps. Eudora? Mailsmith? Notes? Pegasus Mail? Outlook? Dead as a dodo.

With Gmail I get a world class spamfilter, reliable backups, and access to my mail from anywhere in the world, all for free.
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