The Next Wave of Software: Hosted or PC Based

There’s two primary views of where the future of software is headed. One view, is that software will be anchored on the PC and use the Internet to enhance the value of PC based software. This is Microsoft’s view.
The other view is that the PC, phone, PDA, cable box or any other device will access a suite of tools on the Internet. This is the view of Apple, Google, and others.
I think the reality is somewhere in between. For your business, it’s not completely important which way things go or which theory you support, but you should have an understanding.
Hosted applications, especially with Google’s push to make hosted apps available on non-Internet connected PCs, makes your computing world almost limitless. The idea of purchasing servers and installing software is a thing of the past.
On the other hand, having software on your PC allows it to perform for more richer tasks as it can fully use the power of the computer’s chip and graphics card.
The New York Times, in reference to Microsoft’s view of the world writes The company has hinted recently that Mr. Sinofsky’s team may be trying to keep the PC operating system relevant by redesigning it to take full advantage of next-generation processing chips from Intel and Advanced Micro Devices that will have dozens of internal processors.
The company’s chief executive, Steven A. Ballmer, refers to the new approach as “integrated innovation.” But it is less clear yet whether Mr. Sinofsky will have the agility to respond to what is being called an era of “loosely coupled innovation” ó an agility that has been the hallmark of nimble Web services developers.

How should you decide what’s best for you?
If you need “basic” collaboration, email, web surfing and core business processes like CRM and finance, a more hosted application view of the world is the best way to go.
If you need advanced applications that require graphic manipulation and intensive data crunching, a more PC based solution could be best for you. Read “Why Software Matters” for more information on this.