Friday, November 9, 2007

Buzzword and a tangent

I just started playing around with Buzzword, Adobe's answer to Google Docs. Of course, since this in an Adobe product, it is Flash-based. This is a major strength for the same reason Flash works so well for YouTube, just about everyone has it and it renders pretty much the same on any computer.

It seems to be pretty good from the cursory run-through that I have given it. It is very easy to share documents using it. You just click "Share," enter the email address of the person you want to share with, and you are done.

Ironically, a feature I found myself looking for was the ability to download my work locally to my computer. Unfortunately, I don't think this feature exists.

Anyway, I'm not sure there is a ton of value-add over Google Docs here, but it's worth checking out.
And a tangent:
What's interesting to me here is not so much Buzzword as a product, but the fact that it signifies yet another client-side software giant getting into the web-hosted apps market. I never cease to be amazed by the pendulum of paradigm shifts in computing. In the old days, everything was client-based: mail programs, word processing, music players, everything. The only real web-based, daily productivity apps around were mail sites, like Hotmail, I think.

Nowadays, in response to the Google-set tone of having applications web accessible from anywhere, companies who are centered around client-side apps are trying to break into the web-based software model. The most notable of these companies being Microsoft, with their Windows Live initiative.

Anyway, I just thought this was interesting. I'm sure that once everyone in the web-based software arena, the "cutting-endge" thing to do will be to install client-side software.

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