A recent article in Knowledge@Wharton explores the growing trend toward hybrid desktop/web software – next-generation tools that combine the features of web-based applications with desktop software to create a hybrid model that may offer the best of both worlds. Recently, Microsoft, Adobe and Google have announced aggressive new initiatives in this area.
While each technology giant is taking a different approach to tackling this huge opportunity, Wharton information and operations management professor Kartik Hosanagar explains that one likely scenario is a two-phased adoption of this hybrid model:
"According to Hosanagar, this model is likely to develop in two phases. ‘In the first phase, applications will provide essentially the same features as a desktop application, only you will now be able to access them from anywhere. Current web-based apps are good examples of this.’ For example, Yahoo Mail looks a lot like Microsoft’s Outlook email program. Google Docs and Adobe’s Buzzword mimic Microsoft Word and add perks like the ability to access your documents from any computer.
In this phase, occurring today, Hosanagar says desktop applications will offer more features than web-based software, but over time that advantage will erode.
In the second phase of this hybrid model, web applications and desktop software will co-mingle, says Hosanagar. ‘What’s likely to be more exciting is the next phase, where these web-based applications can interact and share data with each other and become platforms [that developers can use to build more software]. Facebook has already become one such platform, as has Salesforce.com on the enterprise side. In the next phase, far more interesting things will happen as these web apps start talking to each other."
Considering the rapid growth of web-based mind mapping tools and the preliminary results of my latest survey of this new technology – which shows strong levels of interest in collaboration and accessing one’s maps from anywhere – I’m wondering if or when this trend will arrive in the mind mapping space. What do you think? Please share your thoughts in the comments area of this blog!