Desktop Returns, On The Web Of Course


No longer spooked by Microsoft, startup investors are backing desktop-software startups again — but this time, the desktop’s on the Web. You can read rest of my story on Business 2.0/CNN Money website.

The new wave of investment is driven by the convergence of three major trends. First, broadband is spreading everywhere. Second, open-source programming tools are widely available and improving in quality. And third, technologies are emerging that make Web-based software as graphical and interactive as desktop applications, like Ajax (asynchronous JavaScript and XML) and Adobe’s Flash.

As part of the story, there is scoop on two new start-ups, who are using Web 2.0 technologies to create brand new opportunities.

* Hive7, a startup launching today, is building virtual-world environment — similar to the ones World of Warcraft and Everquest gamers spend hours in — within a browser.
* Fabrik, is offering an online file-storage service that offers a click-and-drag graphical interface like Windows Explorer or Mac OS X’s Finder for navigating through your files.
* Also included in the story is Goowy, which just announced that it will add a new I GB storage and IM functionality. (I have been using the alpha product.)

Check out my detailed posts (with screenshots) on Hive7 and Fabrik.


Ajay Sanghani

good to see more and more disruptive ventures emerging, am sure is a wake up call for all in the industry from software developers, to distributors to support teams…all will have to look for re-skilling themselves sooner rather than later.

Ajay Sanghani,
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Are you sure you didn’t coin the term, “webflop” ?

Scott Milener

Om, thanks for the interesting post. I saw this with both personal satisfaction and a bit of pain. The term “webtop” was first quoted by me in an article in the late ’90s. It was clear to me then that Java apps that run in the browser would take over and my company at the time, BulletProof had arguably the best example on the web of what could be done in a webtop app. I talk about the story in my blog.

Hopefully this time around they’ll actuallt take. I always wondered wy used HTML instead of Java. They’re interface is so clunky with all the page loading and clicking which a rich app can replace.

In fact you can still see BulletProof’s Java apps in action.
– then click OK to login, once the ‘applet’ loads, you’ll see a desktop-like database app that is fast to moev aorund in and loads just the data back and forth with no page refreshes.

Tahir Zaimoglu

I believe this is nothing new. Lightmaker did this years ago with Macromedia Flash and the smoothness and logic is much better than Hive.

However if we are discussing Ajax and its use brilliant work…

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