osOpinion: MSOfffice.com: Ain’t Holdin’ My Breath

[ Thanks to Kelly
for this link. ]

Sun’s announcement of its purchase of Star Division, and
its offer of a thin client version of Star Office, quickly prompted
Steve Ballmer to offer a similar service for MS Office.
I have
no arguments with Ballmer’s announcement about offering a thin
client version of Office. What bemuses me, nevertheless, is that
Ballmer gave no details or dates. It smacks as yet another
vaporware product in Microsoft’s virtual product catalogue. Well I
ain’t holdin’ my breath for msoffice.com and neither is anyone

“Why? First, what makes MS, and to a lesser extent Sun, think
it’ll succeed where Corel Office for JAVA and LOTUS’ Esuite failed?
I remember the grief that Michael Cowpland had to endure in ’96
from the mainstream computer magazines. Their journalists lambasted
Corel Office for JAVA because it was too fat, too slow and
unstable. Well, it turns out that Cowpland was 3 years ahead of
anyone, it’s just the technology, both JAVA and the bandwidth, was
still evolving. LOTUS Esuite lasted a little longer but was
recently dropped precisely because it too was still to fat and
choked the bandwidth.”

“Second, Microsoft has a dilemma, according to some of the
reports I read across the Internet, the company plans to use the
Office 2000 server extensions. That’s going to be a problem as
these will raise the price of the software and introduce all
hassles of licensing with MS.”

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