Nothing new really, but Infoworld offers a nice overview of Google's recent work to unseat Microsoft Office, highlighting what is, of course, the central argument behind cloud computing:
In today’s Internet-centered world, the desktop is already becoming little more than a terminal for people on the go. Why should documents and key applications be locked into just one box? Why not move them to the Internet “cloud” so you can work from anywhere you happen to be, using whatever device you happen to have? And once you’ve sprung your documents from the PC prison, collaboration is just a click away. That’s the implicit pitch behind Google Apps.
So is Office as we have known it for the last 20-odd years doomed? Depending on the time frame, there are strong arguments for and against that position.
At the heart of Google’s strategy is “the cloud”: It hosts your applications and data, providing the ubiquitous reach of cyberspace. No need for a complex desktop OS and application suite, nor the latest, power-sucking hardware to run it. It’s a cleaner, more responsible application-delivery model. You might even call it enlightened.
It is enlightened. It is also, as with any forward-leaning technology, a bit early on the curve to move our entire lives to the cloud. But this is a trend that is happening. Microsoft ignores this at their peril.