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Chapter 19. FUTURE NETWORKS: WHERE IS TE... > Groupware Becomes Webware

Groupware Becomes Webware

In Chapter 9, "Working with Applications on the Network," we discussed groupware , which provides a communications environment for users on a corporate network. Although I certainly think Microsoft and Lotus will remain the big players in this software area, I also think we will see an evolution of groupware products into what I like to call Webware . The interface that is provided for the end user will appear more like a Web browser, and it will place discussion groups, e-mail, and other communication avenues into a context that at least mimics what users experience on the Internet (the Web, in particular).

Now, this prediction isn't particularly daring because intranets already use Internet protocols to provide users with different communications options over private networks. My prediction is that groupware software will become the front end for intranets and serve as the primary interface for users as they search a database or even do basic word processing. For that matter, there is no reason why the groupware client will not also become the interface that users work with when accessing resources on the Internet or the Web. Local and remote resources will appear the same to the network user


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