I agree -- these client/server arrangements work best in the enterprise. Additionally, since the servers could be located on site (rather than at the ASP), security is less of a concern.
One problem I foresee is that either (i) people will need to get use to two computing environments (home and work) or (ii) the environment will have to be useable at both home and work, and home may not have adequate bandwidth for a while. One advantage MS had against, for instance, UNIX workstations and even Macs, is that people wanted to use the same computer at work and at home, so that Wintel pluralities in both realms soon became predominance.
Another issue is that I anticipate that useage of laptops as desktop replacements will increase significantly. In spite of their physical thinness, laptops need to be "thick" from a client/server perspective, because they need to be able to function apart from the network (until someone comes up with cheap 100 Mbps cellular phone modems).
MS has several other issues that complicate its strategy:
(i) MS efforts to move away from very thick clients costing up to $2000 or more will hurt computer OEM relationships (think of the old saying about computing power: "Intel giveth, MS taketh away." -- well, the Dells and Compaqs of the world love the "taketh away" part),
(ii) if MS moves away from the Wintel platform or from a strategy that can only be implemented or paralleled by competitors on the Wintel platform, it merely becomes the biggest, richest ASP in the game rather than the controller of the platform, putting the likes of Sun, IBM, Oracle, OEMs, cable cos and telcos and the *nix crowd back in the game, and
(iii) given the industry's envy/fear of what MS has accomplished, and the decent possibility that the government will break MS up or hobble it significantly, MS's "decommoditization of the protocols" (to steal a phrase from the Halloween Documents) may be more difficult and the non-MS industry titans may be more willing to work toward open protocols that allow all of them to have a piece of the action, rather than squabbling in a futile attempt at world domination and ending up allowing MS to continue its dominance in the Next Generation -- we'll see on that one.
Not to sympathize with the devil, but I have got to imagine that it has got to be tough inside MS trying to position NGWS/.net in the wake of the anti-trust ruling. By the way, is MS's use of the ".net" within accepted norms for that suffix?
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