The internet just keeps getting better thanks to broadband, XML, and RSS. Google Earth, MySpace, Zimbra, Trumba, and Rearden Commerce are just a few examples of new web-based services that are part of what Cisco CEO John Chambers calls the “interactions web.” USA Today says:
the borders between the computer and the Web are dissolving, so you can hardly tell if you’re using something that’s running on your processor or on a server thousands of miles away. Often, it’s both.
Microsoft is making more of its offerings web-based too. On Monday they said they’ll be introducing a more collaborative version of Excel:
the next version of its Excel program, due out next year, will include new capabilities for storing spreadsheets on a central server. The company said the capability, dubbed Excel Services, will let workers collaborate on a spreadsheet, accessing it through a Web browser or downloading it to a computer.
There’s speculation that Microsoft will also be launching a web-based customer-relationship management program. Read more.
And to help make all of these web-based applications even faster, a new discovery in optical communications promises to dramatically accelerate data transfer between computers. Engineers at Stanford have figured out how to switch a beam of laser light on and off up to 100 billion times a second. From NYTimes.com:
Such an advance could accelerate the decline in the cost of optical networking and transform computers by making it possible to interconnect computer chips at extremely high data rates.