c|net says that Microsoft won't be including Infopath (formerly known as XDocs) in the basic MS Office bundle. This seems all wrong, I don't get it.
It seems to me that Infopath is all about enabling business apps that are slicker and more responsive than pure Web apps and at the same time are built around nice open declarative XML.
But the main reason that businesses love Web apps is precisely that they don't have to pay for, deploy, and manage desktop software, it all just runs through the browser, which is part of the landscape. For example, here at Antarctica we're doing pretty well at trying getting people to deploy information visualization apps, and one of the reasons is that it just works in the browser.
If Infopath were part of the basic Office bundle, then everyone would have it and this wouldn't be an issue. But if c|net is right, in order to convince businesses to build on Infopath rather than the browser, it's going to have to be awfully damn good.
In particular, it's going to have to be good because browsers are getting better all the time. Well (snicker), Mozilla, Safari, and Opera are. But that's OK, it's no longer 1998 and I guess Microsoft no longer cuts off companies' air supplies for using the wrong browser.