I am not too happy about the idea of a webcentric OS on my computer. There are a number of issues including connectivity (there are still loads of people in my area on dial up because broadband is unavailable to them, plus what about the cost of mobile broadband - in the UK it is still ridiculously expensive) and application quality.It is impressive what you can do with some online apps but they are nowhere near ready to replace desktop apps, and what about large scale apps like video and photo editing?
Boy, are you absolutely right, Carol
. Internet access here in the US is still too expensive, and it's the one thing for which the price never goes down. And typically, upload speeds in the US are 70-80% slower than download speeds, which makes the whole exercise a waste of time. Richard Stallman
of the FSF has the same concerns, including vendor lock-in issues. Open formats using open standards should prevent a good deal of worry for data portability.
But the speed issue is a real one. The first response has been to allow webware to include a local version on your HD, so that when you're not connected, you still work just as if you're using regular desktop software. For Google and Zoho, for example, when you log on, your local files can be set to auto-sync with your online files, giving you the best of both worlds -- HD crashes? Your data is elsewhere and can be retrieved. The web vendor garbles your data? You've got a copy on your HD.
Perhaps 'Windows Strata' -- Microsoft's rumored cloud OS -- will address these very real concerns. Computing should always become faster and less encumbered. Never the opposite.