Thursday, February 21, 2008

Web Apps without Web

Technology Review magazine has identified 'Offline Web Applications' as one of the Top 10 Emerging Technologies for 2008. Adobe AIR, Google Gears are such platforms that support accessing web applications without the web.

In fact, Goolgle Gears + Google Apps combination has been touted as the Microsoft Office killer.

Certainly, this is the new programming model and it demands new ways of thinking. The programming model is bound to innovate new set of applications that we haven't had access to in the past.

Some of them which I can think of are:

1. BI on SaaS/Analytic applications

2. Offline Employee Portals with Search capabilities

3. Content Management / Web 2.0 apps

The primary motivating factor for such applications would be a hybrid model that leverages both Internet connectivity and Desktop processing power capablities

1 comment:

John Mullinax said...

It's common sense, really. Why should browser be the only way to access content from the web? A browser is simply a specific kind of client app, and many client apps today can leverage content over the internet -- on PCs, mobile devices, and embedded devices.

Of course, sometimes a browser is just what you want -- but other times it's not exactly right. Nice to see that technology has progressed to the point that people can make the trade off choices that make sense to them.

This is not a completely new trend, of course. iTunes is one of the earlier and more successful examples of this. A number of MP3 players before iPod, but it was the combination of iTunes and iPod that created the differentiating consumer experience. XBOX and XBOX live is another fairly early example. The trend you mention is one of the scenarios Microsoft refers to when it says "software-plus-services".

I'm glad to see this continuing to catch on, as it ultimately means improved capabilities and experiences for users.