GOffice et al.

Thanks to Fara Otterbeck from GOffice.com, who commented my previous post. In fact, GOffice is a great tool, and I’m eager to start using it. Also, it seems an acquisition is possible. Great work guys! The best of luck!

However, I’d just like to add a note on Web Services like GOffice and Writely, the Media Lab‘s $100-laptop initiative (One Laptop per Child), and Microsoft’s attitude. Interestingly, while live.com is launching Bill Gates’ view of Web Services, he also criticizes Negroponte’s initiative. Cinics say this is so because his systems have been rejected in favour of Open Source ones, like Linux. And it may be really so. What this issue really shows is that Web Services will take off soon, thanks to the (not really new) idea of lightweight computers, like MIT’s with no hard drive: their storage and program power comes entirely from the net. Now, this simple fact also shows that some real progress must be done in the privacy arena, or we will not trust web-services providers for long. On this side, Lessig writes that Microsoft has proposed a standard that looks very promising (see Wired 14.03: Can Microsoft Save the Net? ): “That’s an extra­ordinary gift to the online world, from a giant that increasingly depends on the Net’s extraordinary design”.

I don’t know if the $100-laptop will really win. I’m not that sure every kid needs a laptop, to start. But I believe the move will foster again a change on the way we view computing, and perhaps people will come to organize around computing (as a great facilitator), around the world. Also, the $100-laptop idea shows that it is possible to build a really inexpensive computer, after all.

About Antonio Vantaggiato

Professor, web2.0 enthusiast, and didactic chef.
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