Consumers, technologists and start-ups have taken heavily to running hosted applications. Squash reminded us a while back that a lot of the basics still need to be covered. Still, it’s interesting to consider whether this is a trend that consumers, medium business and enterprises will take-up with a vengeance.
The rise of Gmail really kicked the trend off and the Google team have done a great job expanding the capabilities. The buzz around Web 2.0 doesn’t do any hard either to getting people excited and experimenting. However, it’s worth remembering that lots of “trends” seen by the digerati don’t take-off. For example, while I couldn’t live without RSS it’s not used by most users (according to Yahoo, only 4% of surveyed users are RSS users). While I assume that this figure has changed since that survey I don’t think it’s the majority!
The main hosted applications I use are:
E-mail is intrinsic to how people use the Web, and Google changed the game with it. They’ve done everything possible to make it feel like you’re not locked in, while locking you in with all the features!
I’m not a big social networking user, but I do use Linkedin to stay in touch with business contacts and look for job candidates.
The oldest of social networking sites. Perhaps not the prettiest but I have all my bookmarks there and there hasn’t been anything more compelling.
So far, every other application I use is on the desktop. File storage is the one that I’d really like to solve but there doesn’t seem to be a clear winner that is cross-platform. Which hot hosted applications do you find indispensable?