In a complete shocker, a top executive at the world's top maker of desktop application software says that desktop application software is not dead. IDG News reports:

A top Microsoft executive defended desktop application software, the source of the company's revenue for three decades, arguing on Tuesday that even services-based companies such as Google still need it.

The comments by Jeff Raikes, president of Microsoft's business applications division, come as Microsoft is trying to position itself as a company capable of delivering applications over the Internet as well as on PCs, its traditional distribution model.

"It's interesting some our competitors who like to espouse the idea that software is dead," said Raikes said. "I think they're worried that actually people like a lot of what they have at their fingertips and the real success is to use a combination."

 "It's fascinating to me to see that even some of those companies now are trying to backtrack on what we've been saying and to offer things like Gears in order to be able to be offline and or take advantage of global computing power," Raikes said.

Yawn.

Google approaches this stuff from the cloud, because that's where their strength is. Microsoft approaches it from the desktop (and server), because that's their background. In the short term, a combination of the two does make sense. But think to the future: Is it cloud based or desktop based? It's cloud based. So with due respect to Mr. Raikes, I think Google has a firmer grasp on the future than does Microsoft. It's something to think about.