John C. Dvorak discusses the problems Microsoft’s Windows Genuine Advantage experienced this weekend, and what the implications are for all online “Web 2.0” application.
But, frankly, this whole article builds up to the last two paragraphs, where John warns that when the last dot-com bubble burst, company after company went out of business, leaving the users stranded. And the next bursting bubble is on its way…. This fits with some of the other columns he has recently written.
I think we’re having a completely different dynamic in this “bubble”. First of all, it’s debatable that there is a bubble - although with VMWare’s recent IPO that has significantly increased in price (about 150% of initial offering), there are some indications. Second of all, although there are some smaller companies where your data may not be as safe as on your own computer, I don’t see Yahoo, Google, and even Microsoft going out of business any time soon. The biggest risk might be that they close down one of their services (like Google Video). And if they would do that with Google Docs, I assume they would announce it months in advance.
One thing John misses in his “reverse time line”, is that by introducing the desktop, you’re replacing one point of failure (the web service) with another point of failure (your desktop). Even on a desktop a backup is invaluable - so how does that differ from having a backup of the data on your web service? At least I know that in case of an outage at one of Google’s services, they have backups. Right…? Google…? You do, don’t you…?