Ok, so the ZDNet blog has an article in which they quote a M$ insider that Office 13 (not the upcoming version, but the one after) will be web-based like the salesforce.com’s and the WordPress’s and the NetSuites of the world.
Microsoft building a fully Web-based Office? by ZDNet‘s Richard MacManus — A “Microsoft insider” was asked which other products and services Microsoft would host and the reply was: “Everything. Hosted Office. Everything hosted.” Ahem, can anyone say Web 2.0 Office?
I call BS.
Might be there will be a specialized version of office (like the Outlook Web Access) that will be optimized to run on servers internally in corporations with some combination of Virtual PC … but I don’t see how well will the market react to a always-on, always-open connection to their Word, Excel and Powerpoint from a website.
Web-apps, esp. from Microsoft, with it’s history of flaws and security issues and are no-go, atleast for the rest of this decade.
Don’t take me wrong, I would be amongst the first to line up and get a hosted Office account for my parents and non-technical buddies who just want to start their computers and get working with what they have in mind, be in writing an email, typing a story, creating a presentation or making a few graphs and charts. However, I believe this is will not be possible with the current level of network connectivity and availability.
Sure our cell-phones provide us always-on connectivity, with the EDGE and the EV-DO and the 3G services … however, there still needs to present a
strong, stable, disconnected application locally available. Atleast for the near future.