Once again, Microsoft delays the shipping date for Windows Vista. Is anyone even paying attention? A quick poke through the first few features mentioned on the marketing site is underwhelming. The interface has some nice visual effects, but it isn’t fundamentally different from what we’ve seen over the last decade.

An article in the Washington Post mentions the delay, as well as the opportunity for Apple to gain market share with their new Intel based machines. What the article doesn’t mention is the underlying trend that people are moving towards the web as their platform. Operating systems are becoming less important.

For instance, websites like Writely allow you do about 70-80% of what you can do in Microsoft Word from any computer. You can be using Windows, MacOS, Linux, or any operating system that can support a web browser capable of displaying the Writely interface. Suddenly, not only is the operating system inconsequential, but the device you use is as well.

This is a boon for programmers writing business software. Conceivably, web based interfaces allow us to write applications that can be quickly adapted for new gadgets. We don’t have to change programming tools or environments every time something new surfaces, allowing us to hone our skills for the web platform and to reuse software in many different places.