The Disappearing Desktop - It's Real This Time

Rob Cozens rcozens at
Thu Nov 10 11:22:44 EST 2005

Dan, et al:

>Some people may well want to continue to pay premium prices for
>software so that they can keep their data on their local drives, but:
>(a) those people will eventually have to give way to the market
>forces if for no other reason than that all the software publishers
>head over there;

They won't be forced if some vendors continue to make desk-top apps 
available, and those vendors will have a greater share of of this 
"smaller (?)" market if major vendors abandon it.

>and (b) there really needn't be a connection between
>where the software is and where the data is unless the user wants
>such a connection.

And, at least last time I checked, many do:

Shortly before I left the FlexWare world, I was called in on a 
project to link FlexWare with an eCommerce package.  The project was 
was scoped out between the two software vendors and moi, then the 
client who requested the link was brought into the loop.  Once the 
client realized that his company's customer, product, price, and 
sales data would reside on an off-site computer owned and run by 
another company, he pullled the plug.

This does not mean a company couldn't find some advantages in 
browser-driven INTRAnet apps.  But a lot of smaller companies (a) 
don't need a network that spans more than one physical location, and 
(b) lack the resources to build & maintain one.

Also, how do the economics work if each user wants a different 
version if the app?  For a decade and a half I made my living 
tweaking FlexWare accounting modules to work the way a single company 
wanted it to work.  I never ceased to be amazed at how much even 
small companies are willing to invest to have a system that works the 
way they do business instead of being forced to change their business 
or accounting procedures to meet the requirements of packaged 
software.  And after the economics, what are the logistics of 
maintaing multiple versions of the same browser-driven app for different users?

Finally, Andre's point about all the other ways data must be created 
and maintained before & after a web commerce transaction is well taken.

Rob Cozens CCW
Serendipity Software Company

"And I, which was two fooles, do so grow three;
  Who are a little wise, the best fooles bee."

  from "The Triple Foole" by John Donne (1572-1631) 

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