Firefox as an operating system

Joe Wilcox’s Microsoft Monitor weblog is always a good source of intelligent thought on our industry’s dominant influence. Looking ahead to Google’s big news on Friday, which now probably isn’t a Google PC, Joe says of competition between MSFT and GOOG: ‘Software is sticky. Right now, search is not… Stickiest software is the operating system, and that’s Microsoft’s Ace in the hole.’
He’s right, up to a point. But I’m ever more impressed at the scope for Firefox, plus extensions, plus broadband, plus ‘Web 2.0‘ projects to negate the need for an operating system (per se). I recently discovered Meebo, which gives you an Instant Messaging experience within your browser (and works remarkably well). I’ve used Writely when I haven’t had a word processor handy. I store all my bookmarks at We’re all comfortable with email-over-the-web, via Gmail or Hotmail or whatever. Saving things to your hard disk just seems so old-school.
I’ll tell you one thing that is sticky, though – password storage. The more Web 2.0 sites I sign up for, the more I’m accumulating usernames and passwords. Give me a rock-solid, reliable, trustworthy way to store those, and I suspect I’ll be tied to your solution for life.

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