Web 2.0 applications just keep getting better, gaining the features people expect from traditional desktop applications.
Even though the business models to support online applications are still fuzzy, tech start-ups and established software vendors plowed ahead in 2007, creating an explosion of online digital media and social-networking sites and features.
While the big story in 2006 was Google's acquisitions, rival Yahoo this year netted, for about $350 million, one of the prized Web 2.0 companies--Zimbra, which makes an Ajax-heavy Web e-mail and calendar application.
The incumbent desktop software vendors, notably Microsoft and Adobe Systems, also committed to software services in a substantial way.
Photoshop Express, as it's called, won't be the only Web-based digital image editor. But it shows how much the Web has shaken up the software business, when even a classic desktop application can be reversioned to go online.
Microsoft, meanwhile, took steps to finally create Web services around its dominant Office desktop suite. Called Office Live Workspace, the offering lets people share Office documents online.
Having already signed on millions of consumers to Gmail and its other Web applications, Google launched a subscription service, Google Apps Premier Edition, aimed specifically at business users and part of a broader trend of making enterprise applications more user-friendly by adding Web 2.0 features.
Adobe, too, got into the "Web Office" games when it acquired a start-up that has developed Buzzword, one of several Flash-based online productivity applications.
The Web 2.0 plumbers were busy at work during 2007 as well, making enhancements to the development platforms to make online applications richer.
Google introduced Google Gears, a browser plug-in that lets Web applications run offline.
And while providing application programming interfaces (APIs) with Web applications has been going on for years, the social networks got onboard in a big way this year.
Facebook, which opened up its network beyond college campuses, announced in May that it is letting outside developers create widgets, or mini-applications, that run on Facebook. LinkedIn released its own developer program in December.
For its part, Google introduced OpenSocial, a set of APIs meant to bridge different social-networking sites.
For all their promise of creating cutting-edge applications, mashup creators are pushing the boundaries of the Web.
Subscription version of Gmail, Google Talk and more--$50 a year per user--now includes Docs & Spreadsheets.
Hosted version of program to appear within six months, CEO says, as company combines online features with packaged apps.
Looking to dethrone Adobe's Web video tool, Redmond to unveil a browser plug-in called Silverlight.
Microsoft's Mix announcements reflect how the Web--and Ray Ozzie--are affecting how the company writes software.
The server and software company comes full circle with Java, releasing a scripting language to ease Java development.
Company invites software developers to build applications and businesses to open retail spaces on the social-networking site.
Search giant launches Google Gears, open-source software that brings offline access and local storage to the Web browser.
Once ethereal, Microsoft's plans to try to replicate its desktop position on the Web are starting to become clearer.
Yahoo's $350 million purchase shows commitment to communications services as it redefines its place in the market.
Adobe Systems steps up plans to offer online collaboration with Web word processor and file-sharing service.
Coming soon: Beta of Office Live Workspace, a tool for viewing, sharing and storing--but not editing--Office documents online.
Facebook scored big by opening up to outside developers. Now its rivals are aiming to follow in its footsteps.
Google has finally unveiled its social-networking strategy, and it's ambitious even for the seemingly unshakable tech company.