CNET News.com: Web sites’ challenge to software makers heats up

“Web sites that offer desktop applications over the Net are
revving up to challenge traditional software makers through new
products and appeals to software developers.

The sites offer a variety of applications such as electronic
calendars and address books, file storage, and email management
tools. Web-based email sites like Hotmail, now owned by Microsoft,
led the charge, attracting users with a free service that users
could access from any computer with Internet access.

Now the trend is to offer an entire suite of applications to
lure users to the site as their first and most frequent point of
reference on the Web, much the way search and content aggregation
sites such as Yahoo and Lycos have amassed some of the Web’s
largest audiences.”

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