November 20, 2005
@ 03:58 PM
In his post Dinner with Dan'l Lewin of Microsoft Dan Bricklin writes
I was invited to a little dinner tonight, along with John Landry and some others, with the visiting Dan'l Lewin of Microsoft...Earlier in the dinner we all introduced ourselves and Dan'l answered some questions about Live...Basically, he sounded like he couldn't say much and/or didn't know the answers and that we'll find out more in the spring (and is probably pretty happy the recording didn't come out...). He didn't seem keen on the idea of OWA-like (Outlook Web Access) versions of Word, Powerpoint, and Excel. Some of us let him know that's what we expected him to say but were surprised because it's what people want. (I had already told him some about wikiCalc.)

I can understand the Office guys aren't keen on building Web-based versions of their flagship apps but they are going to have get over it. They will eventually have to do it. The only question is whether they will lead, follow or get the hell out of the way.


 

Sunday, November 20, 2005 4:27:09 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)
I'd just like to exclude myself from the current definition of "people", since wasting bandwidth with Office applications that would run better off my hard drive is not on my list of things-I-absolutely-must-have.
Sunday, November 20, 2005 11:25:09 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)
What is the value-add of a web version of Word? It seems like you'd have to re-invent a lot of technological investment we've already made, for an unclear benefit.

I have to say, if Word was as flaky as the typical web app, I probably wouldn't use it.
Monday, November 21, 2005 2:25:11 AM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)
Bruce,
>What is the value-add of a web version of Word? It seems like you'd have to re-invent a lot of technological investment we've already made, for an unclear benefit.

You could make the same argument against Outlook Web Access. Why build a web version of Outlook if user's can just use a VPN with their laptops? It turns out that I can do both but 9 times out of 10 I pick using OWA over messing around with my smart card.

Extend that scenario to working with business documents on the intranet. I personally find it pretty ridiculous that I have to mess around with VPNs when I want to edit my specs that are on our internal sharepoint site. Why isn't there an OWA equivalent for Sharepoint that doesn't require me having the latest versions of Office on my client to edit my documents?
Monday, November 21, 2005 3:12:19 AM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)
I misunderstood you - I thought you meant that web apps would *replace* the existing apps - I don't see that happening soon. Having web apps that complement and extend the reach of the existing apps makes more sense.
Monday, November 21, 2005 6:00:48 AM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)
Dare,

"You could make the same argument against Outlook Web Access. Why build a web version of Outlook if user's can just use a VPN with their laptops? It turns out that I can do both but 9 times out of 10 I pick using OWA over messing around with my smart card.

Extend that scenario to working with business documents on the intranet. I personally find it pretty ridiculous that I have to mess around with VPNs when I want to edit my specs that are on our internal sharepoint site. Why isn't there an OWA equivalent for Sharepoint that doesn't require me having the latest versions of Office on my client to edit my documents?"

The above sounds like your problem could be solved with a better VPN solution.

I agree with Bruce that a web version of Word, Excel, and Powerpoint seems like over kill. Why spend the resources on making web versions when you could just solve the 2 main web problems with the existing apps: deployment and cross platform. Aren't those the only major advantages of web apps?
Monday, November 21, 2005 5:48:15 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)
Jeremy,
> The above sounds like your problem could be solved with a better VPN solution.

Sure. And if everyone ran Windows Vista and built their apps using Avalon we wouldn't need AJAX or Flash. So what? Today, you can't build rich Web apps without AJAX or Flash.

Similarly, if the Exchange team had waited for Windows VPN to get better (I'm not really sure how much better it can get) then they'd still be waiting today and we wouldn't have OWA. In an ideal world [for Microsoft], we wouldn't need Web apps. Unfrotunately, we don't live in that ideal world.
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