Tuesday, 28 October 2008

Windows 7 launch brings MyTop closer

(By Richard Holway) There surely cannot be a reader of UKHotViews who isn’t aware – maybe even bored – with my pieces about MyTop/MobiTop; the natural next step in the DeskTop, WebTop progression. Today, the arrival of MyTop/MobiTop took a significant step forward with the announcement of Windows 7 from Microsoft. It should be with us in about a year’s time.

As part of the new Windows 7 operating system, Microsoft announced new Office web-based applications. “The "lightweight" versions of Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote are stored online and can be accessed from any device with internet access, regardless of whether it has Microsoft software installed on it. These "cloud" applications appear in the web browser exactly as they would on a normal desktop. Users can store their documents on a remote Microsoft server and access their files from any web-enabled device, be it a mobile phone, home or office PC, with no loss of data.” Source – The Telegraph 28th Oct 08.

"We are bringing the best of the web to Windows, and the best of Windows to the web," said Ray Ozzie, chief software architect at Microsoft. "From PC to the web to the phone, and from the server to cloud, we are focused on enabling the creation of the next generation of user experiences that change the way we live, work and play."

I do not exaggerate. This announcement, coming on top of the launch of Azure yesterday, will be seen in the history of IT as a seminal moment. Although the IT industry is in for a recession, this is exactly the time when the main advances in the way we use technology occur. It is also a time of great risk for the established leaders. Google undoubtedly used the last downturn in the early 2000s to establish its lead in search. Microsoft is clearly not going to be caught napping again.

Of course, it is all a huge risk for Microsoft too as it will undoubtedly damage its existing cosy revenue model. Let alone having to admit that Vista was a mistake. But they had little choice. If they had continued ploughing the pretty disastrous Vista furrow, they would have lost out big time as the users of the world want systems that can operate on smartphones and netbooks in the same way as on PCs, laptops, internet cafes etc. Full marks for Microsoft for stepping up to the mark. Just as I have never forecast the demise of IBM, so I have never suggested that Microsoft doesn’t have the power to re-invent itself to meet new challenges.

Many people have said "we live in interesting times" to describe the current financial crisis and looming recession. But "we live in interesting times" as the whole way in which we use IT is on the cusp of the biggest change in its 40 year history. Now that really is interesting!

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