Sunday, September 10, 2006

Off the Desktop, Onto the Web

Inspired by Steve Rubel's example, I have gotten over my nine-year Outlook addiction and now moved all my PIM off the desktop and onto the Web. Any IM functions I can do on Meebo (and soon, Wablet), I'll do there.

It's been less than an hour, and I'm already feeling the benefits:

*Lower database corruption risk, important for my huge address book.
*Lower CPU overhead. That leaves more processing power for other apps, like intense DFX for my MP3s. Aya Hirano's God Knows never rocked harder.
*Lower bandwidth consumption on huge emails. That means more broadband content surfing without having to worry about huge new mail coming down every few minutes (affectionately called "the toast" by Outlook users).
*Integration with and syndication to other Web applications -- in my case, custom homepages and project sites.

If you think about it, many of Outlook's design principles are leftovers from the days of dialup (and later, offline mobile sync). If Outlook 2007 is to ever win me back, it had better move far away from those principles, integrate well with many Web-based services using open standards (iCal, RSS, OPML, etc. CSV ain't everything.), quit hogging my system, and offer useful benefits browser-based systems can't (yet). Unfortunately, Scoble quitting dimmed hopes for all that.

The Philippines in particular would do well to use Web-based PIM and IM. Most online Filipinos are cybercafé users.

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