Imagine Word, but as an ajax browser application that was free. And allowed tagging of documents. And you could set reader permissions for each document you create and allow others to edit the document, or just read it. That’s what Writely is.
I have been thinking about this a lot recently. I have found myself using my web browser to do everything in my computing life and expect more and more. I use Google Calendar, Google Talk, Gmail, Writely and Google Spreadsheet for my day to day activities. Even this blog post is being doing from a Firefox web browser extension (Peformancing). I find this allows me to use whatever computing platform is available (OS X, Windows, Linux) to get my work done. How soon before I not longer need the use of a desktop app? What does this mean for rich client applications like Word and Excel? I never did need all the functionality of Word or Excel.