Platform Independence

I’ve recently been adopting the newest beta version of Firefox (3.5b4) on all of the computers around our  house.  Aside from the fact that a couple of my extensions don’t work (yet) with the new version, I’ve actually grown to really like it.

Perhaps what I like best is the fact that it’s the same on all of our computers.  It’s the same on Vista, and on Ubuntu 9.04.  It’s the same on OS X Leopard, and on XP.  That’s a wonderful thing.

My keyboard shortcuts all work, I use FoxMarks to keep all of my bookmarks and quick links the same on all versions.  I use Zotero to keep track of all of my research articles for school.  I use TwitterFox to keep my tweets up to date (see at right) and keep tabs on my friends.  All of these services store data in the cloud – somewhere out there – and I just pull it down as I need it.  No more USB drives, it doesn’t matter what computer I’m using, my own or otherwise.

As I’ve said here before, I use Gmail, another cloud-based service, to manage all my email.  This is truly a change in the way that people work.  In follow up to yesterday’s post about going semi-nomadic, these services are what’s going to allow people to remain productive despite their computers.  No longer are people tied to one platform (do graphics on OS X, do Office on Windows, etc.).  I’m even updating this post using a cloud-bases web client.

Web 2.0 has gone a long way toward changing the way people interact (see Facebook).  I, for one, am very much looking forward to seeing where Web 2.5 or Web 3.0 will take us.

In the meantime, I’ll just continue to enjoy the new Firefox, and patiently await the next great cloud-based productivity tool.

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