David Galbraith has some interesting questions:
Why follow the same product breakdown as Microsoft at all? Do you really need fully fledged applications for ‘word processing’, spreadsheets, presentation?
I rarely use a fully fledged ‘word processor’ and would rather see a completely different view of software, built around a modular framework with a plugin architecture for developers. These plugins could be local or distributed, like locally cacheable web services. I.E. you could remotely load a French spellchecker on demand whilst editing text.
Why not take the principal activities of desktop computing: editing (text, bitmaps, grids, video etc.); publishing (to HTML, XML, PDF); retrieving (a full text database filesystem) and make them modular components of a universal framework application, an extension of the operating system.
I think the basic principle is well articulated. For example, I’d like to have a “writing area” (which could be Open Office Word) which can then interact with a publishing tool for writing to a blog. Today, I write in a text box which has little formatting capabilities and no spell checker. Componentising activities we do into modular apps is a good way to go. Its something we should explore in Emergic because we have no legacy to worry about.