Web 2.0 Flirts with the Desktop

Posted on Feb 27, 2007

In a recent post made today, Joyent announced a partnership with Corel in what could be an interesting development for the Web 2.0 “Software as a Service” model. Users of Corel’s Wordperfect Lightning software will now be offered free Joyent Connector accounts for two users and 200MB of disk space. It may be the first time that desktop productivity software will be coupled with an online service.

I definitely think this is an advancement. The idea of a browser-based word processor always made me roll my eyes. Sure it is cool that it can be done — but it’s certainly not better than the real-deal desktop software. However, I did think there was a lot of potential for collaboration on the Internet that has gone un-tapped; potential I think can be reached by coupling the best of web applications and desktop applications.

On a final note, I do have to mention that Joyent’s choice of partner does disappoint me. While I haven’t used Corel’s more recent software offerings; it’s probably because it’s closed-source and proprietary software. I also suspect that Corel’s suite of products use proprietary file formats. Corel Wordperfect Lightning is also currently available only to Windows users. I hope that Joyent didn’t lock their service into a deal with Corel; I’d be more excited if they partnered with an open-source software product like Open Office.