Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Transcript of Chat Mar 22 2006 - Who needs a desktop

Who needs a desktop? Part 1 -- Web-based applications
Edited transcript of a blog-chat session held March 22, 2006 on Blogcom here at http://iblogcom.blogspot.com

Raju Vegesna, invited speaker from from Adventnet, makers of the Zoho suite of AJAX Web Applications
Yoah Bar-David, invited speaker, co-founder of irows.com
Alfred Thompson from Microsoft
Doug Cubell, Boston-based tech sales
John Lin, from Adobe, business development/product marketing in the Platform Business Unit
Richard Seltzer, co-moderator, seltzer at samizdat dot com
Sudha Jamthe, co-moderator, sujamthe at yahoo dot com

Major topics covered

  1. Introductions

  2. What do we mean by web-based applications

  3. Interoperability of desktop applications and their web-based equivalents

  4. Revenue model and long-term implications of web-based applications

  5. Storing documents on the Web

  6. Adobe

  7. Google, Writely, and "Webtops"

  8. Wireless and "streaming data"

  9. Microsoft

  10. Collaboration and social computing

  11. Security, reliability, and standards Issues

  12. Direction of software development

  13. Targeted advertising as a possible souce of revenue

  14. Wrapup

Richard Seltzer: Welcome Raju, please introduce yourself.
20:01:02 Raju Vegesna: I am Raju Vegesna, Architect @ Zoho.
20:01:21 Richard Seltzer: Welcome Alfred Thompson and John Lin, Please introduce yourselves, we're just getting started.
20:02:01 Alfred Thompson: I am Alfred Thompson with Microsoft and a long time observer of social computing
20:02:37 John Lin: I am John Lin with Adobe
20:04:23 Richard Seltzer: John Lin -- what do you do at Adobe? And is Adobe involved in Web-based applications?
20:04:56 John Lin: I am in business development/product marketing in the Platform Business Unit (PDF, Flash)
20:02:19 Richard Seltzer: Wecome Doug Cubell, please introduce yourself. We're just starting.
20:03:46 Doug Cubell: Oh, hi, I am Doug Cubell. I am a Boston-based tech sales guy, mostly bizdev and channels for infosec and wireless
20:10:27 Yoah Bar-David: Hello, this is Yoah Bar-David from iRows. Sorry for being late, but we had a power outage.
20:10:44 Richard Seltzer: Welcome Yoah, glad you could make it. We just getting started. I've been asking Raju some very basic questions about web-based apps.
20:11:23 sujamthe: Richard, Yoah is the founder of irows, webbased AJAX spreadsheets.
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What do we mean by web-based applications?
20:03:39 Richard Seltzer: Raju, please explain. Presume I'm a total novice (which when it comes to Web-applications is true). What applications are you talking about? How do they relate to the standard Microsoft Office applications? How does one access the Web-based version and where does one store the documents?
20:04:33 Raju Vegesna: We provide productivity enabling applications like webbased word processor (Zoho Writer), Spread sheet application (Zoho Sheet), a complete collaboration product (Zoho Virtual Office), Daily planner (Zoho Planner), CRM (Zoho CRM) etc.
20:05:08 sujamthe: Raju, Raju, are all of them Web based AJAX Applications?
20:05:26 Raju Vegesna: Yes, all of them are AJAX Apps
20:05:29 Richard Seltzer: Raju -- I'm still lost. What is the relationship between your word processor and Microsoft Word? And likewise you apps and the Microsoft apps? We really need to start at a base level. What is an AJAX app?
20:06:02 Raju Vegesna: We provide a completely web apps. MS apps are installable in a computer while our apps run ona server. People can access our applications from their browser and they dont need to install it on the machine they are working on

Interoperability of desktop applications and their Web-based equivalents
20:06:55 sujamthe: Raju, are zoho apps compatable with MS apps? For example, can I take my existing Excel sheet and upload it into Zohosheet?
20:06:56 Raju Vegesna: The aim is to provide a location/machine/OS/Browser independent office environment for individuals and businesses which enables collaboration and productivity.
20:07:02 Richard Seltzer: Raju -- If I create a document in Word, can I open it/share it with your word processor? If I create a document with your word processor, can I open it, edit it etc. with Word on my desktop? Are these apps compatible?
20:07:21 Raju Vegesna: Yes, You can take an excel sheet and import it into Zoho Sheet and do it vice versa. You can do the same for Zoho Writer too which works with MS word docs Yes, you can create a doc in Zoho Writer and export it in Word format and use it on your desktop

Revenue model and long-term implications of web-based applications
20:06:47 Doug Cubell: these web-based apps are really getting exciting! One day we will all just have web-terminals.
20:14:47 sujamthe: I am an enterprenuer, was co-founder of Coola, a mobile server platform. I love the idea of disengaging from the desktop totally.
20:16:39 John Lin: where the network is the computer. From a business model standpoint, I am interested to hear how web hosted apps what the revenue model is...
20:18:32 Richard Seltzer: John -- I agree. I'd very much like to hear about the revenue model. What does the user pay? And what does the user get?
20:17:43 Richard Seltzer: Yoah and Raju -- I would think that there is enormous potential for Web-based apps, if they allow people to work from anywhere -- from any kind of portable device -- and store their data online, and share their documents securely with their teams.
20:17:47 Yoah Bar-David: All the online tools will have to develop a seamless integration option
20:22:11 Raju Vegesna: Regarding Revenue model....we offer these apps as products to be installed in your location. We charge for these products. For a company using applications like writer or sheet, we charge them for it as it'll be hosted specific for a company.
20:22:55 Richard Seltzer: Raju -- what is free? just the storage? or the use of the applications? How do you make money?
20:23:14 Raju Vegesna: Basic storage + use of applications will be free
20:23:43 Richard Seltzer: Raju -- what do you charge? ballpark? I'd like to get a sense of whether using web-based apps is or could be less expensive than buying Office from Microsoft?
20:23:44 Raju Vegesna: we make money by selling services to companies and selling the productized version to corporates who want to host these apps internally
20:24:52 Raju Vegesna: To give you a ballpark....with 1GB of storage, you probably are looking at around $5 or so per month.
20:25:15 Richard Seltzer: Raju -- that doesn't sound viable. That sounds like what one does when there are few users and you are trying to get started. But long-term, it's only natural that there will be costs. And to try it at all, I'd need to know, ballpark, what I'm getting
20:26:27 Yoah Bar-David: Richard, regarding pricing, look for example for XDrive, they charge $10 monthly for 5GB
20:27:01 Richard Seltzer: I'm remembering Mango's efforts. They had a great storage environment, seamless, secure, easy to use. But their pricing was so high that few companies tried it. Now I'm wondering about the pricing for this approach
20:28:51 Richard Seltzer: Stepping back -- it feels like there are two main reasons for web-based applications. One is collaboration (sharing documents over the Web), and the other is remote access to your own applications and the ability to work on them from anywhere from non-computer devices.
20:33:18 Doug Cubell: Richard, I like your point. You don't need much of a machine to run a browser
20:29:45 Yoah Bar-David: There are other benefits of web apps: No install, No virus eating your files No patches etc
20:32:04 Richard Seltzer: Yoah -- another benefit would be (I think) not having to upgrade from one version of Office to another.
20:34:06 Raju Vegesna: Doug...so you can buy a machine for cheap, install Linux and use your browser with these web apps.
20:34:27 Doug Cubell: sounds great! Where do I sign up!
20:34:27 Alfred Thompson: What about performance? I use a lot of web applications and most of them seem slow.
20:35:07 Yoah Bar-David: Alfred, it's partially your fault, MSIE is mych sloer than FireFox
20:35:21 Yoah Bar-David: But MSIE 7 is getting better
20:36:21 Alfred Thompson: I haven't used FireFox recently but didn't see a performance improvement when I was using it.
20:37:07 Doug Cubell: The big PC guys won't like this. They want to sell faster machines with bigger drives and aps, no?
20:37:27 Alfred Thompson: The other big concern is that I spend a lot of my time using the computer where there is no network. Airplanes for example. Other places the network is expensive.
20:37:28 Yoah Bar-David: Alfred: For complex webapps, there is a noticable difference
20:36:03 sujamthe: Alfred, performance goes to two things - your ISP of speed of access which is improving daily. Other is the technolgy behind these Apps, where AJAX is promising
20:37:13 Richard Seltzer: John -- do you mean you would expect the individual consumer to pay for the use of apps, on a per use or subscription basis? That's what I would have expected too. But what I'm seeing here is free use, which is a bit mind-boggling.
20:37:26 Raju Vegesna: Richard.....the usage of these apps will be free for individuals. For corporate customers with additional functionality, thereis going to be a price tag.
20:35:59 Richard Seltzer: Alfred -- I'm not seeing much here about pricing for the use of apps. If the model (which I seem to be seeing here) is that use of the apps is free, and the companies will make money renting storage space and doing special custom setups for companies.
20:43:02 Doug Cubell: if connectivity were ubiquitous (we are not there yet), ASP models would be even better
20:43:07 Alfred Thompson: Sounds like a return to timesharing in some ways. That is to say central control of data and applications. There are people at MSFT more excited about this than I am. :-)
20:45:01 Richard Seltzer: Alfred -- my alphabet-speak is a bit rusty. What MSFT? (Microsoft Means Fine Tobacco?).
20:46:33 Alfred Thompson: MSFT is the stock ticker code for Microsoft. It takes less typing than the whole name.
20:49:41 Richard Seltzer: Alfred -- thanks. I remember 10 years ago lots of discussion about the time to come when the network would become the computer. This seems to be getting close to that. On the other hand, these apps would make the browser far more important than it is today.

Storing documents on the Web
20:08:07 Alfred Thompson: Where are the data files kept? On a local PC or on a server someplace?
20:08:52 Richard Seltzer: Raju -- If I create a document with one of your Web-based apps, where can I store it? Do I need to have the equjivalent Microsoft desktop app to store it on my desktop? And do you or others offer web-based storage for such documents, so I don't need a desktop application?
20:08:26 Raju Vegesna: All the data is kep on our server grid.in our data center. However, all of this data can be downloaded to your local machine. By default all the apps come with storage. You can just store all your documents online.
20:09:21 sujamthe: So I create a web based spreadsheet and it saves on Zoho servers and I can access it from any computer
20:09:44 Richard Seltzer: If my documents are stored in your data center 1) are they secure? 2) how much does that cost me? 3) how much storage do I have available?
20:10:28 Richard Seltzer: Raju, "all" my documents would amount to about 90 gigs. What are your limitations? And what do you charge for storage? And how do I know that my data is secure?
20:10:40 Raju Vegesna: For individuals, the service is going to be free. If you need more storage, you'll have to pay some amount. The pricing is not yet decided. It'll be reasonable.
20:11:39 Alfred Thompson: Some people might take advantage of the service just for the off site storage. I can see that being an attraction for some people.
20:12:29 sujamthe: Yoah and Raju: Do you offer a hosted version for the enterprise?
20:13:03 Raju Vegesna: Yes. We do for some of the products. We plan to do it for all the Zoho products
20:13:04 Yoah Bar-David: Not yet, but we plan to have one in a few weeks
20:13:34 Richard Seltzer: Yoah and Raju -- I'm slowly getting up to speed regarding Web-based apps. From a novice perspective storage is an important issue. I understand that I could use a web-based app, like word processor or spread sheet from anywhere, but where do I store it?
20:14:01 Yoah Bar-David: Data is stored on our servers.
20:14:03 Raju Vegesna: These are stored online by default. But you can export them to your desktop.
20:14:35 Yoah Bar-David: I think that in a short while we will see dedicated online stogate solutions, and then we will store our data on these services
20:15:05 Richard Seltzer: Yoah, "stored by default" doesn't answer me. If I start to use web-based apps on a regular basis, I'll soon have many many documents (I use over 90 gigs on my hard drive). There have to be limits and charges and security is an issue.
20:15:53 Yoah Bar-David: You are right Richard. We start with most people who do not have such large volume of data
20:16:05 Raju Vegesna: Richard, there will be a price for each Gig...or 10GB. We are going to release Zoho Drive to address this issue.
20:17:51 sujamthe: Raju: Whats a Zoho Drive, is it like purchasing a dedicated Drive online for use by my Zoho aps?
20:18:03 Raju Vegesna: Exactly. With Drive, all the data will also be available as a virtual folder in your local machine. So if you are online, you can map your 'Z Drive' to your online storage.
20:20:37 Richard Seltzer: Raju -- do you mean that there is no price today for storage? And what is the pricing model for use of a Web-based app? Do you sell "subscriptions"? Or do people pay on a per-use basis? Or can a company get unlimited access for a pre-defined team?
20:21:21 Raju Vegesna: Richard....for individuals it is free with limited storage (around 200MB). If you need more storage, we charge for it.
20:21:22 sujamthe: Raju: Is this free introductary to build user base?
20:21:49 Raju Vegesna: Sudha: No....this is going to be free for individuals forever with limited storage.
20:21:54 Richard Seltzer: Alfred -- Mango used to have a very interesting web-based storage service that was completely compatible with Microsoft -- you felt like you were on a LAN. But I believe they went under (Don Gaubatz from Digital used to work for them).
20:22:36 sujamthe: Richard, Mango was ahead of its time
20:22:49 John Lin: instant access everywhere
20:37:34 Alfred Thompson: Where are the data files kept? On a local PC or on a server someplace?
20:38:37 Richard Seltzer: Alfred -- I'm hearing that the data files are on servers somewhere. The user need not have much storage, need not have any software other than a browser. (Raju and Yoah, please correct me if I'm wrong).
20:38:58 Raju Vegesna: Richard....you are correct.
20:39:35 Yoah Bar-David: This is correct
20:46:28 Alfred Thompson: Some people might take advantage of the service just for the off site storage. I can see that being an attraction for some people.
20:53:39 Yoah Bar-David: You can use XDrive, but it's not free
20:53:45 sujamthe: John: I didn't dare to install it guessing that result :-))
20:53:55 Yoah Bar-David: And there are other players in remote storage
20:54:29 Raju Vegesna: There are many players like OmniDrive etc. There are atleast 10 other players

20:13:07 sujamthe: John, coming from Adobe, I am curious to hear your thoughts about these hosted document solutions
20:14:09 John Lin: Well, Adobe has had for quite a while a web-based subscription service called createpdf.adobe.com for users who do not want to purchase or install Acrobat on their desktop

Google and Writely and "Webtops"
20:06:50 John Lin: Notice that Google Finance using Flash for their stock charts..
20:08:05 sujamthe: John, I didn't realize it was Flash in Google Finance!
20:52:22 sujamthe: I had heard of an open source App where someone allowed one to use their Google email with its vast storage as their desktop as a drive on their computer.
20:52:44 Yoah Bar-David: gdrive, but Google does not allow this
20:15:39 John Lin: I think the acquisition of Writely by Google has accelerated the interest , or revived the interest that Scott McNealy of Sun would call, the "webtop"
20:18:56 sujamthe: I think webtops (thanks John) bring one big advantage that desktops offer - collaboration.
20:20:11 Yoah Bar-David: I was suprized to see how much people do collaborate on documents
20:16:59 sujamthe: John, honstly I hadn't used Writely till I heard of the Google aquisition, but web based spreadsheets seem cool and I found irows offers integration into Writely.
20:17:27 Yoah Bar-David: We do offer integration with Writely but it more of a hack
20:18:21 John Lin: I had heard of Writely prior to the Google acquisition because they had a create PDF option from a Writely doc to PDF from what I recall
20:53:04 Yoah Bar-David: The rumor is that Google will soon have a remote storage offering
20:53:08 John Lin: Sudha - yeah, google kills accounts if they see people using Gmail for online storage

Wireless and "streaming" data
20:14:05 sujamthe: Doug - you mentioned you do bizdev in wireless area. Do you see the benefit of this with wireless devices or is the desktop here to stay?
20:15:54 Doug Cubell: When I was selling crypto into the DRM space (John remembers!), there was a vision of a "jukebox in the sky". In other words, you didn't store music, you streamed it from whatever device you had. Seems the same model works for applications, no?
20:16:44 Doug Cubell: streaming means that you always have your data, even on slim devices
20:39:43 sujamthe: Alfred, to your point about using your PC in places where there is no network - it will all change as we get wireless access everywhere at affordable prices. But from what both irows and zoho offers, you can use Word or Excel on your desktop and upload upload it to irows or zoho once you get network access.
20:40:45 sujamthe: Alfred, there will a phase of transition where people will use both desktop and web based apps and will switch to the latter.

20:18:53 Richard Seltzer: Alfred, is Microsoft playing in this space yet?
20:20:10 Alfred Thompson: Not in the web version of applications. At this time anyway. I don't know about the future. There are several ways of getting and using network file storage though.
20:37:34 sujamthe: Folks, MS embracing the hosted software model with web based apps http://www.iht.com/articles/2006/03/21/business/gates.php

Collaboration and Social Computing
20:20:42 sujamthe: Alfred, you mentioned interest in social computing. Does online collaboraton count in it?
20:20:49 Alfred Thompson: I am Alfred Thompson with Microsoft and a long time observer of social computing. Groove will be very much in use with the next version of Office for example. Yes I have watched a lot of talk about online collaboration over the years.
20:21:34 Alfred Thompson: Things like Live Meeting for example and now Groove.
20:22:36 John Lin: Sudha - so when you mean collaboration - realtime vs. asychronous? For asychronous (as I can imagine it is difficult to do real-time editing with 2+more people), we know the desktop model works (mail). I think the webtop is more about instant access
20:23:42 sujamthe: John: Agreed, technically real-time editing with 2+ people is difficult, but
20:24:58 sujamthe: I am thinking of a scenario from work - a team of people work on a proposal in Word. One master doc is copied and edited and theres a work flow for others to edit or accept changes. Its a slow process.
20:25:49 Doug Cubell: negotiating contracts is also challenging colloboration
20:26:29 sujamthe: I remember when I used to work in BBN/GTE in 98. We worked on a proposal for a client and different people worked on different components of it all in Word and someone co-ordinated and put it together and legal had to review it and we were chasing ...
20:27:01 Doug Cubell: yes, its a real hassle
20:27:02 sujamthe: we were chasing overnight deadlines with fast paces web customers who wanted the solution now, let alone a proposal.
20:27:55 sujamthe: In this web based app model, we could collaborate and work from anywhere. The software App has to come a long way to support work-flows etc.
20:28:17 Doug Cubell: imagine how functional kiosks could be if people used web-based aps and storage?
20:28:32 sujamthe: Yoah, Raju: Does your collaboration tools support work flows for the enterprise , I mean allows rules for colloboration?
20:28:36 Raju Vegesna: Sudha...these webapps doesnt have everything a desktop apps have. They have 'Enough' that 80% of the market needs.
20:28:53 Raju Vegesna: Yes, our collaboration product supports these.
20:29:25 sujamthe: Doug, people could hop out of planes and get their docs from an airplane kiosks! Oh, we'll never stop working
20:29:57 Doug Cubell: I don't mind people working as long as they don't talk on the phone! ;-)
20:31:04 Richard Seltzer: Doug -- exactly. Not just kiosks, but the ability to buy a computer for dirt cheap. The hardware is very inexpensive these days, the operating system and the Office applications cost more than the hardware. If I can use web-based apps for everything I don't need a full-blown computer.
20:39:34 Richard Seltzer: Raju and Yoah -- what about collaboration? what can you do with web-based apps that you can't do on the desktop? or what can you do much better web-based?
20:40:18 Richard Seltzer: Raju and Yoah -- what can you do with web-based apps that you can't do on a desktop or can't do very well there? what new modes of working and new business models could be built on these apps?
20:40:20 Yoah Bar-David: Richard: A few people can work on the same document, you can send links to docs intead copies
20:40:29 Raju Vegesna: Richard, you can create documents, share these with your frieds and work together on the same document without maintaining multiple copies of the same document going around.
20:41:11 Yoah Bar-David: You can publish data on other sites, and when you update the data, all sites that display this data get refreshed automatically
20:41:51 Raju Vegesna: Richard....availability of the data from any location/machine/browser is the key differentiator for web-based apps.
20:42:20 Richard Seltzer: Yoah -- when you send a link to a document, how does the security work? Is the document open to all to see or is it open only to a predefined set of team members? And do the fancy Microsoft Word markups go into play? Can you see the different versions and markup in color?
20:43:22 Yoah Bar-David: Richard: You are in charge, You can sent it with temporary permissions, you can define users and groups and set permissions
20:41:59 sujamthe: Yoah, Richard and I were talking about what speadsheets we can do online. Can you give examples of usage of your App whats same as Excel, what new spreadsheet are people using because its online?
20:42:47 sujamthe: Raju, you may answer that one too. Basically I am curious to see how usage and user horizons have expanded because of these online apps.
20:53:04 Raju Vegesna: Richard....to give you some pricing, our collaborative app, Zoho Virtual office is priced @ $9/User/Month
20:55:12 Richard Seltzer: Raju -- What do you get for $9/user/month?
20:55:55 Raju Vegesna: 1GB with Email, Document creation, Task management, calendaring, notes, favorites, group discussions, instant messaging etc
20:57:22 Raju Vegesna: If you need Word Processor, add $5 to it. If you need Spreadsheet, add another $ or $5 to it (based on different options like number of users etc).
21:00:56 Richard Seltzer: Raju -- the pricing is still confusing. $5 for this and $5 for that. I only pay $29 a month for my Web site (with 1500 documents and 20 gigs of traffic. Your pricing sounds high, or simply confusing. I'd like a simple flat rate for all I can eat.
21:02:02 sujamthe: Richard, Raju's pricing is ala carte, its actualy cheaper based on what you compare it with

Security, Reliability, and Standards Issues
20:30:12 Doug Cubell: are there any security concerns/issue with web-based aps?
20:30:33 Yoah Bar-David: Everything has security concerns ;-) You need to trust the place you put your data in, and the network
20:30:56 Raju Vegesna: These are taken care by our dedicated IT Proffs
20:30:59 Alfred Thompson: The down side of web applications is that they depend on the network always being there. Users are pretty much dead in the water if the network goes down.
20:31:21 sujamthe: With MS Word, or PDF its a question of standards.
20:31:25 John Lin: Any concerns by corporate customers about what happens to their data if you go under? (i.e. files stored on your servers)
20:32:39 sujamthe: John: I think irows mentions a corporate version of their solution to be setup inside an enterprise.
20:31:58 Yoah Bar-David: Corporate customers today want to host their own servers of webapps
20:32:23 Raju Vegesna: John, for corporate customers we offer these apps as products
20:32:34 Yoah Bar-David: Exactly, no incompatability issues
20:31:47 sujamthe: Will these Web -based Apps be compatible with other such apps or will be it a standards game?
20:32:30 Doug Cubell: we will all be VERY dependent on our ISPs
20:33:09 Yoah Bar-David: Doug: just like we do for electricty or phone
20:33:38 sujamthe: I think existing big software players are moving to this model too. John mentioned what Adobe does. Oracle has a new oracle-on-demand Hosted ASP version of Oracle, no need to add patches, maintenence etc. I like it
20:35:09 John Lin: I see - i was thinking of the ASP model for the individual consumer. How about a salesforce.com model?
20:36:05 Doug Cubell: John, how do you mean?
20:37:11 John Lin: Doug - well, instead of hosting software internally within a corporate firewall like what irows is talking about.
20:37:42 Richard Seltzer: John what is the salesforce.com model?
20:37:48 John Lin: I think Salesforce.com is completely hosted - no internal hosting within corporate firewall, so completely subscription model driven
20:38:30 Yoah Bar-David: You are right, John, and they are successful at this
20:38:50 John Lin: I know Salesforce.com has had challenges recently with uptime.
20:58:47 John Lin: If everything is encrypted by the user with his "private key", then handing over the data shouldn't be a problem...?
20:58:26 sujamthe: Raju, can you share your experience selling this hosted ASP model in the enterprise.
20:59:28 Raju Vegesna: Sudha.....These corporations prefer installing these apps internally. It makes sence for them as there is IT Staff to do it.
20:59:38 sujamthe: Richard, what is Heidi's company, the hosted community software? I remember how hard it was to sell inside Harcourt just because it was hosted.
Richard Seltzer: You probably mean Sitescape. They sell and host collaboration software, highly structured forums.
21:00:53 Yoah Bar-David: Companies do not like hosted solutions today, they prefer to do the hosting both for security and availability reasons.
21:02:41 Raju Vegesna: I dont think a hosted solution will fit all. An application has to be available both as a product and as a service. People should pick whichever fits them.

Direction of software development
20:43:59 Richard Seltzer: Yoah and Raju -- Are there new apps available or new apps in the works that take full advantage of the collaborative capabilities of Web-apps? This feels like a revolutionary change (to "the network is the computer", as someone here said earlier).
20:44:55 Yoah Bar-David: There are many collaborative web apps, from shared calendars, to-do lists, documents, and more
20:45:33 Raju Vegesna: Richard...Zoho Virtual office is done for this along those lines.
20:44:23 sujamthe: I appreciate all the efforts gone into these apps and whats avaible today, but I see them in an early stage of change, similar to Web Apps (desktop based Web Apps) as they evolved from automating html writing to dynamic html pages to content management and document management systems and later into App servers etc.
20:46:22 Richard Seltzer: Yoah -- I'm a pie-in the sky idealist. I'd be expecting something radically different --a new class of apps, just as spreadsheets were a new class of apps, a "killer app" for PC use, a long long time ago. what's the killer app for "the network is the com
20:46:29 sujamthe: ok folks, I am speculating here, but I think today we see them all as web-based apps, web-based spreadsheets and doc writers. They are going to evolve into a new set of systems as users adopt.
20:47:53 Yoah Bar-David: I agree Su, This is just the beginning
20:48:12 Raju Vegesna: Richard...thereis no one killer app today. All these apps are going to evolve to become Office 2.0
20:48:37 sujamthe: One piece I am curious is to see if there are developers interface to any of these? What do you think about it? I mean offering an API to allow developers to build more Apps linked to one of these instead of saying users will have to pay one company for all their needs
20:49:26 Yoah Bar-David: There are and will be more APIs, but I think that in the future there will be just a few very big players
20:49:55 sujamthe: Excel is established because of all the apps that are built upon it by people inside companies, like that these apps will have to evolve for different verticals
20:49:59 Raju Vegesna: Sudha...We started offering these APIs. People took this and integrated our Zho Writer with Google Home page for example.
20:50:42 Richard Seltzer: Su -- yes, I'd expect there to be some kind of plug-in model, a way that third-party developers could add value to these web-based app environments.
20:50:48 sujamthe: Raju, thats cool. Do you have a URL for us to see it? Maybe you can email us later or post to the blog.
20:51:11 Raju Vegesna: Sudha....I'll email it
20:53:12 sujamthe: I say this as an example in my belief that there are smart innovators everywhere who will add stuff even if you don't allow it officially.
20:54:25 Richard Seltzer: From my non-technical perspective, I'm seeing several different kinds of opportunities -- super browsers that help you do it all (and in some way control how you do it -- an opportunity for Micrsoft to stay in charge); third-party software development ...

Targeted advertising as possible source of revenue and related privacy issues
20:55:15 Yoah Bar-David: Yes Richard, and thing about the targetted Ads one can send you if they "read" all your docs
20:56:18 John Lin: Yes, there have been a lot of blog commentary about the government getting their hands on your data
20:56:22 Richard Seltzer: Yoah -- did I miss something in all the type running by my eyes -- targetted ads? Who is the "they" would be be "reading" my docs?
20:56:37 John Lin: (around the discussion of Google and the U.S. government looking at search data)
20:57:35 Richard Seltzer: John -- yes, that is a serious issue. I consider that an essential part of "security". I need to know that no one can read my documents unless I give them permission (or unless they get the same kind of subpoena as they'd need to read what's on my hard drive.
20:56:46 sujamthe: There were a whole lot of remote storage companies a few years back too. Isn't Yahoo briefcase one some hybrid solution of remote storage of your docs?
20:56:54 Yoah Bar-David: The Googles and Microsofts. Their model will be that you get it all for free, just see banners
20:57:35 sujamthe: I am not sure targetd ads would be the only model to evolve for all these web apps.
20:57:54 Alfred Thompson: Google picks ads to show gmail users in part based on what is in their email
20:58:18 Yoah Bar-David: It made targetting better
20:59:02 Richard Seltzer: Alfred -- yes, I tried gmail for a couple days, and then dropped it becasue of the ads.
20:59:07 Alfred Thompson: I pay for an account on Hotmail so that I am freed from a lot of ads. I think that some will do that and some will say "I can ignore the ads" but people will want a choice.

20:44:03 Doug Cubell: Folks, I have to run. I'd love to read the rest of this thread later. Thanks!!!
21:00:04 John Lin: Got to run!
21:00:42 sujamthe: Bye John, thanks for coming
21:01:26 Richard Seltzer: All, we've reached the end of the hours. Thanks to all for joining us. I'll save the "history" and edit the transcript and post it within the next couple days.
21:01:52 Yoah Bar-David: Thank's everyone, it has been a pleasure
21:02:11 Richard Seltzer: We've said a lot in a very short time. I look forward to going over it all, and catching much that I missed in the rush of things.
21:02:35 sujamthe: Thanks Yoah and Raju, we appreciate your time and comments. Bye everyone.
21:02:56 Richard Seltzer: Actually, it might make sense to post the transcript as a web-based app that the participants to comment on and add to. Could we do that? A document that we could "link to" with permission given to the folks who were participants here?
21:03:55 Raju Vegesna: Yes.....you can share it as a document in Zoho Writer
21:04:15 sujamthe: Richard, we shd try that
21:05:01 Raju Vegesna: Sure....I'll be glad to do it.
21:04:41 Richard Seltzer: Raju -- thanks. Once I have an edited transcript, I'll ask you how we can do it. The process would be a learning experience.
21:04:31 Raju Vegesna: We plan to automate this with Zoho Chat - which u guys can use BTW,
21:05:04 Richard Seltzer: Raju -- Zoho Chat sounds interesting. I'd like to learn more. Thanks.
21:05:15 Raju Vegesna: just visit the URL. It is going to be released soon...but just sign up and play with it. http://www.zohochat.com/
21:05:31 Richard Seltzer: Will do. Thanks again.
21:06:06 sujamthe: Raju, next session April 5th, we have the blogchat founder joining us. I'd like to see if I can try zohochat before that.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

April 5th - Join us for live chat about "Magic of Blogs - Part 1"

What: Magic of Blogs - Part 1
When: Wed, April 5th noon PST (3pm EST)
Where: Here on Blogcom, just click on the diamond on the right and join the chat

Its FREE! All content will be archived here.

Topic: Magic of Blog - Part 1

This is the first in series to explore whats the magic with blogs, how have they transformed the web? What new b-models have evolved around blogs, what new cool technologies, trends?

Invited Guests:
Brent Ashley, the AJAX man, co-founder of blogchat (the chat we use here).

Here is his detailed bio
David Sifry, Founder and CEO of Technorati
Technorati tracks 31.1 million blogs on the web and 2.2 billion links
Its a search engine and directory of blogs. I particularly love David's State of the Blogosphere

How to participate:
Join us for a live chat. Or email Su (sujamthe at yahoo dot com) or Richard (seltzer at samizdat dot com) with questions or comments or simple post a comment to this blog.

- Sudha

Friday, March 17, 2006

Mar 22nd Join us for the chat - Do we need a Desktop - Part1- AJAX Internet Desktop Applications

When: Wed Mar 22nd, noon PST (3pm EST)
Where: Here at iblogcom, click on diamond on the right join the chat.
How to: Just click and join the chat and share your questions and comments with the community. Its free, all content will be moderated by Richard Seltzer and archived here.

Getting started: We'll open the chatroom 1 hour before the chat. Then the red diamond will turn green. Just click and it will open a window and enter your name and URL (optional) and start typing.

Topic: Do we need a Desktop? Part 1 - AJAX Internet Desktop Applications
Lets discuss with industry experts and look at cool products and discuss where the future in web based Applications. Will you use it as a consumer? What b-model will you support? Will you like it for your enterprise? What are your thoughts? Questions and Comments?

Invited Guests:

1. Yoah Bar-David: co-founder of irows.com
2. Raju Vegesna from
Adventnet, makers of the zoho suite of AJAX Web Apps including zohosheet

(More details and bios below)
iRows (http://www.irows.com/) is an online (web based) spreadsheet offering. iRows allows users to create and manage spreadsheets online, store them globally, and access their data with just a web browser (no installation is required).iRows offers a rich and growing functional subset of what Excel offers, with some unique features that Excel does not have, like collaboration, permission, and web publishing.

Yoah has over 20 years experience in managing R&D teams. Yoah co-founded Neat Group (http://www.neatgroup.com/) and acted as its VP R&D (acquired by Cendant - http://www.cendant.com/). Neat Group customers included United Airlines, Marriott, Orbitz and other leading travel players. Previously he led development teams at Ubique, an internet startup company that was acquired by AOL and later by IBM, and Sapiens (http://www.sapines.com/) during which he was located in California and in Hong-Kong. Yoah Holds a B.Sc. and M.Sc. in Computer Science.

Zoho Sheet is a web-based collaborative spreadsheet application which offers complete spreadsheet functionality and user experience of a standalone app on the web. The functionality is almost comparable to an offline spreadsheet application with very good support for formulas, graphs etc apart from additional collaborative functionality which is not available with offline apps.

If you cannot make it but want to send a question, post it as a comment here or email Richard at seltzer at samizdat dot com or Sudha at sujamthe at yahoo dot com
-Sudha Jamthe

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Blogchat topics

At blogcom here, we will discuss cool technologies, trends and evolving b-models and invite a speaker to join us online from relevent sites and companies or experts relevant to the topic.

I have been looking into possible future topics and potential guests to invite here.

Please post your comments on possible ideas or contact me at sujamthe at yahoo dot com We do not like sales pitch about any company or product, of course.

Potential Topics on the table are:
1. Internet Based Desktop Applications
Lean Web-based Apps that will replace existing desktop Apps like Excel and Word, and also new distruptive technologies so cool to break the lack of innovation of the desktop space.
Personally as a lover of mobililty, I believe that the Internet has evoled with new users, who do not love installing apps on their desktops and lean hosted apps is the future.
2.Magic of Blogs
Discussion about blogs, blog related tools, techonologies, evolving trends of how blog have evolved the web into web 2.0 and my ever-favorite about building online communities using blogs.
It will be interesting to look at new b-models that have evolved (have they?)related to blogs.