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Can Fat Clients Survive Web 2.0?

Talk to any self-appointed pundit and they'll tell you that Google, Web 2.0 and clouds are the future. And usually, they tell you this by writing blogs, articles or columns. And what do they craft these masterpieces on? Thin clients? Google Docs? Their iPhones? No, it's usually just Microsoft Word running on either a Windows fat client or an Apple fat client.

As we move to these new computing paradigms, are they simply in addition to what we already have -- in effect, thin-client software running on a good, old-fashioned fattie? Or at some point, does the new way replace the old? That is, do we no longer need Windows or the Mac because all the smarts are in the cloud? And if so, what do these new clients look like?

In fact, we may be moving in the opposite direction. Many new Mac users are also running Windows -- two fat clients on the same machine. And many Vista users are virtualizing XP and sometimes Linux -- two or three fatties running on one box. And what do they spend most of their time doing? Surfing and IM. Hmm.

So what's the future, Web thin or Windows/Mac fat? Your vote readily counted at dbarney@redmondmag.com.

Posted by Doug Barney on July 06, 2009 at 11:53 AM


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