If you’ve ever heard or read about Web 2.0, this is the kind of thing people are talking about—that is, putting desktop applications on the web. Using Writely wasn’t quite the same as firing up Word on my Powerbook; Mac users can only access Writely on Firefox, and even then I couldn’t successfully save the document that I had uploaded back to my computer.
No big deal, though… I could easily cut and paste text back and forth. And except for a few other features—page breaks, for example—Writely has a few killer features of its own. It gives you the ability to convert your documents to HTML, provides an RSS feed to alert you of document changes and lets you email your fellow collaborators with just a couple of clicks. Best of all, it saves a version history of the document online, and if you’ve ever had the misfortune of suffering through the track changes feature in Word, Writely’s solution is much much better!
I had previously posted about moving critical data to the web with regards to my Fido hiptop calendar and address book. Writely represents another big step towards making our computers dumb terminals that need online access in order to be useful.
Can a web operating system be far behind?