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For six years, the Internet Nexus served as my technology blog, but I've since started blogging at the SuperSite Blog instead. If you're looking for the blog, please head there. --Paul

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Pondering a Google Desktop

Me, in Connected Home:
I've always had a healthy fascination with Microsoft alternatives. For example, I've been testing different Linux distributions for over a decade now, and I've purchased three Apple Macintosh machines since 2001 just to use Apple's excellent OS X. Eventually, however, I always return to the safety and comfort of Windows and Microsoft Office. In the mid-1990s, Netscape's sudden rise and fall provided a brief glimpse at what an alternative computing environment could be like, and today, products such as, GAIM, Gimp, and Mozilla Firefox speak to me on a level I'm not even sure I completely understand.

But you don't have to be a technology freak or even a Microsoft hater (which I'm not) to examine non-Microsoft solutions. As I've discussed previously here in Connected Home Express, one of the easiest ways to ease into alternatives is to examine non-Microsoft solutions that are designed to run under Windows. That way, you retain your options while exploring other options. You don't have to switch to the Mac or Linux to be happy. But you might be surprised to discover that there's a wide world of wonderful non-Microsoft software out there, waiting for your attention. Much of it, too, is free.

Lately, much of this software has been coming from Google, and with a massive cash hoard and more on the way, Google is poised to take on Microsoft in more and more areas. As someone naturally inclined to Microsoft alternatives, I find Google's software strangely attractive. And what's really interesting about these offerings—all of which are absolutely free—is that they seem to be pointing to a future in which most of our computing time is spent interacting with Web services and not mired in desktop-based applications. Some have opined that this future might be thought of as a Google Desktop. It doesn't seem so far-fetched.
I'm not sure how they crept up on us as they did, but Google is suddenly a force to be reckoned with. It's no wonder that Microsoft is scared of this company. Google makes good stuff.
[ Posted at 10:34 AM | Permalink ]


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