December 4, 2007 at 6:47 pm | Posted in Online services, Software, Web Apps | Leave a comment

I’ve written a fair bit here about online applications – partly because there is a trend underway to migrate from installed software to web based, platform independent, use anywhere applications. And partly because I’ve developed a batch of web based document and image management systems myself.  Googles Apps, PhotoShop on the web and other articles under the WebApps catagory outline my musings.

Many of the recent crop of office web apps are pretty basic – like Googles Word processor. The challenge of web development is that those technologies are still pretty limited. Ajax simply is not where C+ is, for example. And the issue with developing early on in new technologies is you’re betting on the direction technology will go. My company initially ran with thin client, a great solution for viewing on dialup. But Microsoft got winghy with licensing and thin client required far more infrastructure per user than web. That technology choice can make or break a company. Took considerable resources for us to make that migration.

Adobe recently announced plans to buy Virtual Ubiquity, a startup developing Buzzword, a web based word processor. This article outlines these issues and their interesting solution – an application based on Flex, the Flash development platform.

Its seems to be a reasonably complete word processor with sophisticated document sharing ability, headers & footers, typography and pagination. File format support will be interesting to test. (I favour ODF these days) They plan to add PDF support and the ability to run the app off-line.

Check out the preview:

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