Tuesday, July 24, 2007

First chink in the armour of Office2.0?

I was interested to read an email sent to me and all other users of the spresent web2.0 presentation application promoting a new version of the product - Spresent WinTonic. According to the product blurb this version (for which there is an annual licence fee as opposed to the free version I currently use) is 'spresent for windows'. The rationale for this development is, according to their FAQs, because of notebook computers and the fact that "Notebooks are not always connected to the Web, so having Spresent installed on computer would allow to work on presentations at any time"

Several thoughts as to what this might imply spring to mind. On the one hand it could just be viewed as the developers simply plugging an obvious gap in their product and thus helping to improve the user experience, which in turn is likely to increase take-up of such services.

However, I also suspect another by-product of this kind of thing will be to further blur the distinction between a user's desktop and their online activities - further adding to management complexity. I haven't seen any information about how it handles online/offline version control and synchronisation and would be interested to see how this works and what sort of 'footprint' is left behind on the user's machine.

But could it also be that the release of this product is recognition that most people are not yet ready to take the leap into a fully online existence? After all taking a fully online, zero-footprint, web2.0 application and then sticking a little bit of it back on the client desktop does seem like abit of a 'ond step forward, two steps back' moment in the overall evolution of web/office 2.0.

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