Hot on the heels of Google’s launch of their online spreadsheet web-app that has already gained a lot of attention in the press, Microsoft have described further details of their plans for ‘Windows Live’.
Windows Live is Microsoft’s latest attempt to gain traction in the web-application space, and their plans to sell online access to applications as an alternative to users purchasing and installing software onto their PCs.
This is not their first attempt – their previous attempt was the ‘Hailstorm’ initiative which came and went without hardly anyone noticing back in 2001. Were they too early with this approach before? Possibly. Then again, maybe customers are still not ready for subscription based online services. Especially if someone like Google is giving away a killer online spreadsheet – why would I pay to ‘rent’ one from Microsoft?
This almost sounds too familiar – are they being beaten at their own game? Remember when Microsoft starting giving away free copies of Internet Explorer? Look what this did for Netscape.
One interesting note in this article – the comment about deploying apps to a ‘rich client’ – “Microsoft seek to make it easier to write mashup applications that run on a “rich client,” or a full-featured Windows PC, rather than through a browser” – given the current trend to try and deploy rich client applications via the browser, this could be a step in the right direction – to offer a platform with support for rich client application deployment, but without the curent limitations of the browser (as we know it today)?