NOTE: This was written 11 years before Office 365 was released into the wild.

This week, I had a conversation that included a discussion of whether Microsoft Office applications should be webified.

I think that this is the only way that MSFT is going to be able to get people to support a new version of their product. A web application running on an IIS server (you think they would make able to run on Apache? PSSSHAW!) would support thousands of users, even remotely (HTTPS).

How? Well, once you load the Web app…the load is effectively off the server until the user needs to save, or import, or merge, or speel…spellcheck. Users get to free up cruft and crap from their machines by only loading apps when they need them, and only the apps they need.

OWA is already good enough to replace the bloatware we call Outlook.
As one lunch companion pointed out, there has to be a version of these apps running in a lab somewhere in Redmond right now.

I would buy access to a new version of Office served over the Web in a heartbeat in order to dump the cruft and creep that currently occupies 300MB of drive space.