Imagine a world where operating systems are open source. Proprietary software is non existent. And everything from office applications to music players are desktop/web transparent. What sort of place would that be?
Lately, there have been a lot of advancements in technology suggesting a less distinguishable difference between online and offline applications. Mozilla has said they are building the functionality into their next Firefox launch – being the first ones to do so. Adobe has what is called AIR, and they hope to accomplish the same thing. The first to the game though, is Google.
Google Gears (an absolutely brilliant name if I must say so myself) makes online applications function whether the computer is connected to the Internet or not. Here’s a bit more from the download page:
Right now, Gears exists as a plugin but I imagine it can be built right into an application at some point in time. But think about the possibilities – the most mentioned being Docs and Spreadsheets. But it would allow you to completely manage your Adwords accounts, get Adsense statistics, have a desktop Google reader widget, and so much more.
To me, Ubuntu Linux is the best bet for office computers at a startup; especially if your company utilizes online applications such as Zoho, Basecamp, or Docs and Spreadsheets. All you need is an Internet browser and you are off and running. What better way to keep startup costs down than by minimizing software expenses?
Now, imagine all of those applications being available online or offline! In my opinion, Microsoft is up against something bigger than it can handle.
For more information, check out this article at slate.com.