Google Gears Powers Web-to-Desktop Convergence

Google Gears will bring offline processing to AJAX applications, which promises to be a step towards closing the last big delta between traditional desktop and Web 2.0 applications.

Web-to-desktop convergence is a very interesting topic and one that is bound to change the way we think about software packaging and delivery, which has big implications for software-as-a-service. The driver for convergence is that consumers want the best of both desktop and web applications. I wrote about this last year.

The default distinction between “Web” and “desktop” apps is based on old assumptions. The former typically means something that runs in a browser and needs a server all the time. The latter typically means something that runs on the desktop and doesn’t use the Internet. These distinctions are now outdated. Most meaningful apps these days use the Internet. Yes, even MS Word does. So, the distinction really is about (a) implementation and (b) connectivity.

I built my first “Web 2.0 desktop convergent” web app in 1998. It used WDDX for passing data back and forth and storing it locally. The app only ran in IE because it relied on file system access COM objects for offline access.

The best approach for building rich, convergent Web applications that I know of is Adobe Apollo. There are many examples of convergent applications that leverage Apollo. I recently wrote about Web widgets coming to the desktop. It’s great that Google and Adobe are thinking about how Gears and Apollo can work together.

I’d be interested to learn more about Gears.

About Simeon Simeonov

I'm an entrepreneur, hacker, angel investor and reformed VC. I am currently Founder & CTO of Swoop, a search advertising platform. Through FastIgnite I invest in and work with a few great startups to get more done with less. Learn more, follow @simeons on Twitter and connect with me on LinkedIn.
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2 Responses to Google Gears Powers Web-to-Desktop Convergence

  1. Zec says:

    What if … Google thinks along the same line as Intel which announced Mobile Internet Device fot their UMPC portolio ?
    ImagineGoogle Ultra Mobile tablet with ”The Grande” phone apps on board ?

    Google Gears from few days ago which will do mobile offline/online computing and later synch with server data.

    What if they are betting against Microsoft Origami that will come up preinstalled with Live apps ?

    Tha battle of UMPC platforms ?

    Intel is doing interesting having Linux OS on their Ultra Mobile platform and therefore OS agnostic.

  2. Pingback: Adobe Engage 2008 To Launch Flex 3.0 and AIR « HighContrast

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