Google has poked its fingers into the offline web application pie with today's launch of browser add-on Gears. The search engine behemoth marked out clear intentions to enter territory dominated by Microsoft by offering free, open source technology that works without an internet connection. Gears will run online and offline, …
Internet Explorer for Linux ?!
From the Google Gears "Requirements" -
• Linux (details)
• Firefox 1.5+ and Internet Explorer 6.0+
Google Gears (BETA) is available for Windows, Mac, and Linux
Why on earth would I want to tarnish my shiny Ubuntu box with IE 6.0+ of all things?
an offline word processor that works without the internet?! blimey! and a calendar? this must be some fancy jiggery pokery on a Potteresque scale to accomplish offline data!
Is is just me that remembers all those years ago (the 90s) when data was always offline? it's flippin google that made it online and inaccessible in the first place.
for the record, word has ALWAYS been offline. outlook has pretty much always managed offline email and calendar, and most good rss readers have offline mode too.
well done google, you've "invented" the cache!
the difference, Dave...
...is that it's an *option* to access the data offline. Combined with the option to access such data from anywhere with an internet connection, this is pretty nifty. It removes one of the key advantages desktop apps still have over online apps.
As we all know, Google has always been about the cache............... I expect cries of corporate dominance and unfair competition if Google Apps takes over.............
a back-to-front paradigm
Considering current best practice for application architecture (fat or thin clients invoking middleware business components which access enterprise back end resources), it's just about the most arse-about-face design you could imagine.
Just because you can...
...doesn't mean you should.
It's an interesting concept, I'll grant them that. You /could/ say it's even easier than making a cross-platform offline application that syncs with online data (but that's debatable).
Unfortunately it completely negates the best features of web applications - such as their own Google Maps - which just can't work offline. They're re-inventing the wheel with this one, but perhaps making it slightly more round.
I completely agree dave.
But then again, I was without internet access except at work for 3 weeks until yesterday, and that was hard going. everyone is used to using the web for everything now, and having constant access to it everywhere, so using it for a word processor and stuff makes sense. But the day you find your ADSL provider is upgrading your exchange right when your Boss tells you he needs a report doing by 9am the next morning... Now you dont have to worry.
And another good point. Google started competing with M$ Office, but in a small way. Now there is a full(?) office suite, cross platform, that you dont have to intall. You just use it, anywhere. Free.
So why is anyone going to continue buying M$ orrifice? It makes no sense but they will. Because they always have. But with a bit of luck, this and openoffice etc. will just drag enough market share away from M$ to make them actualy write some good software to get them back....
...nah thats not going to happen.
That Word has always been offline is not reason enough to pay the over the top price for it.
No-one is asking - to what end is Google doing this?
I can't imagine how much money Google has spent developing these applications, only to give them away for free. Why? It can only be in order to mine all the documents created by users for information in order ot gain a commercial advantage somewhere along the line, or to get a critical mass of users involved before charging for the service.
And now Google has plans to become an MVNO, it will have access to just about every form of electronic communication possible. What next, Google Post, Google Fax?
People who use these apps to spite M$ are merely helping to create another monopoly, but one that owns the data as well as the apps.
This has been done before - IBM have a product called DOLS (Domino Offline Services). You place an ActiveX control on your site and when the user clicks on it, a small local webserver is installed and the Domino database is replicated down to the local machine for offline use.
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