<body><script type="text/javascript"> function setAttributeOnload(object, attribute, val) { if(window.addEventListener) { window.addEventListener('load', function(){ object[attribute] = val; }, false); } else { window.attachEvent('onload', function(){ object[attribute] = val; }); } } </script> <div id="navbar-iframe-container"></div> <script type="text/javascript" src="https://apis.google.com/js/platform.js"></script> <script type="text/javascript"> gapi.load("gapi.iframes:gapi.iframes.style.bubble", function() { if (gapi.iframes && gapi.iframes.getContext) { gapi.iframes.getContext().openChild({ url: 'https://www.blogger.com/navbar.g?targetBlogID\x3d15592931\x26blogName\x3dThe+Writely+Blog\x26publishMode\x3dPUBLISH_MODE_BLOGSPOT\x26navbarType\x3dBLUE\x26layoutType\x3dCLASSIC\x26searchRoot\x3dhttps://writely.blogspot.com/search\x26blogLocale\x3den_US\x26v\x3d2\x26homepageUrl\x3dhttps://writely.blogspot.com/\x26vt\x3d4322418321935117791', where: document.getElementById("navbar-iframe-container"), id: "navbar-iframe" }); } }); </script>

What does the Microsoft Reorg mean? Sam
9.25.2005 [] - Permalink

If you follow the "Web 2.0" area, of which, I guess, we are a part, the Microsoft reorg this week was an interesting event. It's been widely interpreted as a reaction to the kind of work that's been going on with applications like ours. Here's a good posting looking at this event in some detail.

The author, Keith Teare, a Venture investor looking at this space closely, discusses how the shape of the network is changing in light of new technologies. I think his take is interesting. I wouldn't have used his words exactly, but I do see the trend he points out, and it's what we saw clearly when starting Writely: everything is becoming more powerful and cheaper. Servers, programming environments, browsers, etc. The modern browser with async JavaScript (e.g. AJAX) is a fairly good platform for developing a certain kind of application, especially one targeted to a broad audience, and it's cheap to experiment with.

This means, as Keith points out, that innovation is moving out to the edges (or as we saw it, to smaller companies and startups). That's not to say that there aren't opportunities in the center - personally, I think big, well established companies like AOL, Google, Yahoo, MSN, Salesforce.com, and (maybe) Oracle are in a good position to make plays in the center that will be very rewarding. We see a number of ways Writely needs to interact with the center of the network - without it, we'd just be a copy of WordPad, for example.

But the point is that it's now possible to do something that wasn't really ever possible before - experiment with new products, paradigms and interfaces cheaply, and get that experimentation out to a very broad audience (also cheaply). It's been possible to hack out little apps on the desktop for a while, and it's been possible to have broad reach with simple web pages and web apps for a while, but it's only been a little while since you can create a really rewarding web experience with broad distribution in the installed base. And, with modern hosted servers so easy to get these days, you can serve a lot of users for not much money.

So...interesting times, indeed. I think we'll see a lot of innovation on the edges. The one danger I see is that the toolkits are so powerful that folks tend to want to toss every feature they can think of into the apps. Personally, we don't think this is the winning idea. It's not that we aren't going to add features - we are, and how! It's more that keeping the message and UI of the application simple is a very important part of being successful on the web. It's the web part of "blending desktop and web" that you need to survive. What this means for UI design depends on the app - it probably means the UI changes as the task changes.

I suspect Microsoft is going to try hard to make this even easier. If they're smart, they and the rest of the portal companies will make it even easier for small companies to innovate, in a way that is somehow integrated with their center. Or, maybe just integrate a bunch of the apps directly. Personally, I'd love to see things like being able to use slawsome to put verbal comments on a Writely page...and we don't need the center for that. Hmm...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Please don't post blog spam here...I'll just delete it.
Hey - I found your blog and then your webpage looks like a cool sitebuilder! good luck with the biz
The some of the most innovative stuff right now is coming out of the web. From very small companies. Things are getting faster and easier to produce.
Most basic desktop applications are going to have to really prove their vaule over web based services.
What I think is funny is how long it took. How much was made and loss during version 1.0. We have learned much but it is only the beginning. The web is bigger than another technology ever harnessed and the possibiltes are endless. It will begin to shape our world like never before.
:) Good info here! I feel like I am learning to be a computer hacker from this page.

Post a Comment

<< Home

© 2006 Google, Inc. -  Contact Us - Writely Blog - FAQs - Privacy Policy - Terms of Use- ATOM Feed - RSS Feed