The Web IS The Application

by john on February 20, 2009

My 10 year old daughter said something interesting to me this morning. She wanted to type up a report she had done and she needed my help getting started. “What web page do I go to?” she asked. She had seen her brother type his reports on that computer and she just assumed it was a web based application. In fact what her brother was using is Star Office, but to her 10 year old mind she doesn’t think about applications because nearly everything she does on the computer is through the browser. She goes to YouTube to watch funny videos and plays games at places like Webkinz and Disney’s Toontown.

I’ve also embraced the web as more of my work is being done online rather than in fat client applications. I’m really starting to use Google Apps a lot now – mostly Gmail and Spreadsheet but I’ve done some things in Document and toyed with Presentation. Despite having Office 2007 on my primary computer if I need to put together a spreadsheet I’ve almost converted 100% to using Google. I’m not there yet with Document and Presentation but I think I will be this year.

Looking at my computer right now the primary fat client applications I am still using are Quicken, QuickBooks and Paintshop Pro. The first two offer browser-based solutions that I could easily switch to and probably will at some point (if I don’t go to Mint). I’m not aware of any browser based image editing programs but it wouldn’t surprise me if they exist. It certainly is more comforting as more of my data and applications go into the cloud – it offers added flexibility (I can use my Dell Mini 9 netbook anywhere) and I don’t have to worry about a local computer failure taking me down. I’m sold on the browser!

I know this isn’t a groundbreaking observation but I thought it interesting nonetheless.

Want to know the future of computing? Check out your kids.

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