Almost overnight, a whole host of Web-based collaborative word

processing programs–Office meets Wiki, if you will–have cropped up,

most of them the product of either AJAX or Ruby development. The

contestants include:

Makes me wonder whether the idea of separate Wikis, content management

systems, word processors, and blogs might wither on the vine in favor

of some collective, collaborative Web entity. Throw in some open-source

social networking system like Ning

and you’ve got an instant grassroots community Web site, which you

could make public or private (or alternately both), and need nothing

more than a barebones Web server and net access to run it.

Somewhere, Steve Ballmer is screaming in panic.