With Microsoft launching a click-to-run version of Microsoft Office 2010, I can’t help but think what a great idea it is. Many applications are moving to the web and I do see the web as the future of software development, but I think there is still a need for traditional applications written in a compiled language.
Click-to-run works by a user clicking on a website link, which then runs an small program to download the latest version of the application. When that’s completed the application starts up for the user. With no install process and no worrying if an existing version of Office is already installed, it’s quite a nice scenario for the user.
The application download process definitely seems to be the worst part of click-to-run at the moment. On average it will take about 5 minutes to download the application, but that can certainly be improved.
While similar, Office 2010 doesn’t compare to Google Office. Yes the online office suite from Google does 95% of things you’ll ever need, but the last few percentage points have some critical features that are required in the workplace.
Aside from an office suite, I can see computer game demos as being prime click-to-run software. Software publisher could also use it to allow customers to try before you buy. This has rarely been said over the last few years, but hopefully other companies take a cue from Microsoft in this area.
What is the future of technology and our digital toys?
- The future is big screens. Digital screens, like LCDs that are a thin as paper and a large as you wall. Heck, they’re probably even on your wall.
- Ubiquitous advertisements. Why? They appear in games, they appear in product placements on all the new movies. Google is funded by advertisements on free web applications; their whole business strategy is to move more services onto the web so more people are available to watch and click on advertisements.
- Mobile. Remember when Microsoft was pushing so big hard to attract more developers to its platform? The mobile future is an even larger wave that isn’t even being pushed very hard by Microsoft. Having instant access to your email, documents, entertainment, and web browsing will be possible through smart phones, Palm Pre anyone, or iPhone? A few more years, notebook computers will be relics, too heavy and clunky when everything you could possibly need is on your mobile phone.
The funny thing is, most of this is available now.
The future is now.