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eWeek: Giving hosted apps the time of day [ASPs a bad idea?]

Jul 22, 2000, 22:04 (6 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Peter Coffee)

"A man with a clock knows what time it is, a man with two clocks is never sure. So goes the proverb, but today it needs another clause: What about the man with a watch on his wrist and another clock that's set by a hosted service?"

"...initiatives such as Sun's StarOffice have been billed as much for their potential as hosted services as for their role in lowering application prices by challenging the hegemony of Microsoft Office. Microsoft and Sun, not to mention others, both believe that word processing can become a hosted service -- perhaps one that people will rent by the "feature hour," to create a new unit analogous to the watt-hour used for billing by electrical power utilities. Presumably, this mode of delivery is meant to give people only as much as they want, at a price they'll willingly pay."

"...StarOffice has been released in Open Source format, a move that provoked much discussion of the intricacies of open-source licensing before the code became available this week. At the same time, moreover, StarOffice has become the software bundle of choice for Linux distributors -- bringing me back to my opening thought about the man with two clocks. We've seen that even something as simple as setting our clocks can't reliably be handed off to a service... The local option is good enough -- just as free StarOffice, running on free Linux, installed on an inexpensive PC, may soon make hosted word processing seem like more trouble than it's worth."

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