Wired: The Office in a Browser

” ‘If I have all my stuff on my PC at home and I’m not at home,
I have nothing,’ said Traver Gruen-Kennedy, chairman of the
Application Service Providers (ASP) Industry Consortium, a trade
group for companies that rent software over the Net.”

“It’s not a new vision, but a return to the pre-PC era of
centralized computing.
Scott McNealy has been beating the drum
of network-based applications since he founded Sun Microsystems,
with only partial success. But the buzz surrounding network
computers and Net software is again starting to grow.”

“Microsoft, which gets half its revenue selling software, on 9
September unveiled an incentive program to encourage
software-rental vendors to offer Microsoft’s software. But the ASP
industry is expected to get its biggest boost when Microsoft
releases details of its Web-based Microsoft Office productivity
package. IBM is also likely to roll out a comprehensive
software-over-the-Web strategy.”

“Forrester Research predicted in 1998 the $100 million software
rental market would explode to $6.4 billion in revenues by 2001.
But research director Steve Cole thinks that estimate may have been
overly optimistic.”