By WALTER S. MOSSBERG
The high-tech hype machine is in full throttle right now, pushing the
idea that one day soon people will store all their files online, and
that sophisticated new "Web applications," running on remote
computers, will be used to manage and view all those files. But as
with most hype, the actual evidence has been scarce.
Now, a small company in New York City, far from the Silicon Valley
publicity industry, is quietly delivering on that vision. The company,
TransMedia Corp., has launched a rich, slick consumer Web service that
can store, display, and share photos, music, videos, Web links, blogs
and other documents. It's called Glide Effortless, available at
Glide Effortless, which runs equally well on Windows and Macintosh
computers, is the most interesting online service I've seen in quite a
while. It's a large, integrated environment that has its own graphical
user interface and often responds as quickly and smoothly as a desktop
software program, even though it runs on remote servers.
Glide has elements of photo-sharing sites, social networking sites and
Web publishing services, but is different from any other site or
service I've seen. It requires a broadband Internet connection, and
works inside the latest versions of the most popular browsers:
Internet Explorer for Windows; Safari for the Mac; and Firefox for
either Windows or Mac.
In my tests, I found that Glide has some rough edges. Not everything
works as it should all the time, and there are some annoying aspects.
It needs some work. But overall, I was impressed with the design, the
care for detail and the ambition of the service.