Yep, If you have been paying attention to what is going on in the internet, you would releaze that you can do all of the typical (and some not so typical) office jobs using free software from the internet.
First a matter of definitions:
- Free software can be web based or client based, it is not a free trial but it could be a limited version provided you can use it all of the time
- Web based means that all of it resides on the web and your client gets very little, if anything, the results (spreadsheet, document, whatever) can be downloaded to your client
- Desktop application (Free software that you have to download in order to use.
There are many more options that with a Google shearcg you can find.
Now, with the advent of Web 2.0 we seem to have an explosion of Beta testing apps that will do just about anything that you can think of. As a side note, it appears that one of the fastest ways of getting rich is to develop a web based app then have it purchased by a big corp.
We all know about Flickr and all of the blogging stuff out there. You will also find a large selection of office apps that will do all of the data manipulation that is requiered in order to run an office, see this article in ZNet and again with a little google searching you will find lots more.
Scoble’s book ‘Naked Conversations’ talks about how blogging will be the new marketing (or should i say, the anti-marketing) of the furture. I would agree with him but add, that the internet with all of the developers out there will become the mainstay of every data manipulation, communication, and collaboration that anybody needs to perform.
Now is great time to be a developer of any type as this field has split wide open with virtually no limits, other than those you impose on yourselve. As far as the business person, large or small, once a limited source of options, you can know build your office structure in any manner you want with (again) the limits being your imagenation.