Great stuff, GMail goes offline and endorses the Software plus Services approach.
I couldn't have said it better myself really. Well, maybe I can as this approach it viable for more than just email…see below for what is Software plus Services.
Seriously, this is how people want to work and it’s good to see Google putting Gears behind GMail and enabling this even if it is in beta and from GMail Labs.
This advance does acknowledge that offline is important, and it begs the question as to whether offline is better done within a browser or client software. Don’t mistake this for me pushing a Windows agenda – that client software that could be clients written in AIR or even Java that are cross platform. I love the web and it’s kept me in a job since I left university but client software has it’s benefits.
For me it means Outlook of course for email but extend this to Salesforce.com and CRM and you have the same question – if you’re taking that business information offline, is a browser the best client for features and performance? Ever wonder how many people use Salesforce.com in Outlook? Of course that doesn’t quite jive with the “No Software” line but trust me, it’s plenty.
Anyhow, I’ve heard the accusation that Software plus Services is Microsoft’s way of avoiding the whole SaaS debate and Web 2.0 and protecting the Windows and Office client base but at it’s core, it’s exactly what Google has just announced here. The combination of client software and cloud services to give customers choice and flexibility.
Funny how things come around.
Fellow geek here, but less well disguised. I found this blog post as we both link to the same video on You Tube.
I've just posted <A href="http://blog.kashflow.co.uk/2009/02/01/software-plus-services/">my thoughts on Software + Service</a>. IT rally is the MS way of avoiding the debate.
Choice and flexibility are cool, but to make the locally installed software central or essential to the online offering - as I guarantee Microsoft will - is a complete nonsense
thanks for the comments - actually local s/w isn't essential it's one of the options, hence me talking about choice.
For example...using Exchange you can access from
1) a mobile device with a client on the device
2) Outlook - local software
3) a web browser - pure SaaS and one of the earliest AJAX implementations
4) via a phone using your voice - no local s/w
Lets take another example of Silverlight which is available cross platform in the browser or via a rich such as on the iPhone.
hope that helps explain why the locally installed s/w isn't a guarantee