The Offline Wars about to heat up?

Ryan Stewart (who works at Adobe) wonders if Microsoft is bringing an offline version of Silverlight out this week at Mix.

I’m hearing that Google is about to ship something major offline too.

So, for the next month we might hear “go offline” from all three camps (Adobe already shot their big guns in this war at last week’s “Engage” event).

Microsoft should have the best offline technology, because it’s king of applications on your desktop, but I think that answers the wrong question.

I’m trying to get everything I do online because I want freedom from my computer.

What do I mean about that?

Well, what if my computer gets stolen? I don’t want any data on it.

What happens if Linux comes out with a Macintosh killer? Or if I decide to get a Windows computer again (I’m currently using a Dell Tablet PC because they sent me one to try out) I want to just load one thing: Firefox and go to work. Right now I’m switching between my Dell and my Mac without any problems at all because almost everything I do now is in the browser.

The thing about Microsoft is that they’ll do some killer offline technology but it won’t work on the Symbian cell phone or iPhones that I’m currently using. It won’t work on Android, which is the Google cell phone OS that’s soon to make an impact on the market. It won’t work on Linux (which is getting a LOT better on the desktop, so I might try that again this year). And it won’t work well on Firefox or Opera or other new, non-IE browsers. (Channel 9 doesn’t work well with Silverlight on my new Dell when I use Firefox 3.0beta3, while Flash and AIR work just fine).

So, I guess the question is: can Microsoft keep the world as it is (IE, one that mostly runs on Windows and Office) or will the world follow bleeding-edge users like me into a more online world?

68 thoughts on “The Offline Wars about to heat up?

  1. As with most things (life!) there is and needs to be a balance. Between online and offline. Work and play. If the internet connection goes down you can’t connect with some of your data. If your power connection goes down you can’t connect with some of your data. If you lose your sight… the same. Pencil and paper are still appropriate in some situations.

    Personally I know that my home computers, held together with string and a few prayers are a second best for data security after Google. Oh! there goes another hard disk. Never mind. I still have that old 386 that will run linux and load a browser…

  2. As with most things (life!) there is and needs to be a balance. Between online and offline. Work and play. If the internet connection goes down you can’t connect with some of your data. If your power connection goes down you can’t connect with some of your data. If you lose your sight… the same. Pencil and paper are still appropriate in some situations.

    Personally I know that my home computers, held together with string and a few prayers are a second best for data security after Google. Oh! there goes another hard disk. Never mind. I still have that old 386 that will run linux and load a browser…

  3. One company many schools in the UK use for their pupil info database recently tried to impose a change onto users that would force them to use an on-line version of the software instead of a local network version.

    The result was a mass exodus from the company and near bankruptcy. We are shifting to a different system, and a good thing too – in my two years as IT tech here we’ve had two serious internet outages and several more short term ones. In other words, some people can’t afford to loose their apps because their internet connection goes down.

    We can’t move our school to the nearest Starbucks to use their wireless if our own connection breaks!

  4. One company many schools in the UK use for their pupil info database recently tried to impose a change onto users that would force them to use an on-line version of the software instead of a local network version.

    The result was a mass exodus from the company and near bankruptcy. We are shifting to a different system, and a good thing too – in my two years as IT tech here we’ve had two serious internet outages and several more short term ones. In other words, some people can’t afford to loose their apps because their internet connection goes down.

    We can’t move our school to the nearest Starbucks to use their wireless if our own connection breaks!

  5. As usual, Robert live in a world that most of us don’t and immediately assumes that Microsoft is behind the ball because they didn’t release something for ahas browser that just been released in beta and most of the world won’t adopt for quite some time.

    Robert you do what you do well, but try to take a more objective approach to your reporting, you have to much of a fan boy approach to everything you say about Google and Apple.

    I really think that Linux has come a long way and can be an alternative to a Windows or Mac desktop if that’s your thing, but please stop with the Mac OS is the be all and end all to what you can use because it’s just not true.

    I like Honda and some people like Toyota, it’s a matter of opinion and taste, it doesn’t make one better than the other.

  6. As usual, Robert live in a world that most of us don’t and immediately assumes that Microsoft is behind the ball because they didn’t release something for ahas browser that just been released in beta and most of the world won’t adopt for quite some time.

    Robert you do what you do well, but try to take a more objective approach to your reporting, you have to much of a fan boy approach to everything you say about Google and Apple.

    I really think that Linux has come a long way and can be an alternative to a Windows or Mac desktop if that’s your thing, but please stop with the Mac OS is the be all and end all to what you can use because it’s just not true.

    I like Honda and some people like Toyota, it’s a matter of opinion and taste, it doesn’t make one better than the other.

  7. “It won’t work on Android, which is the Google cell phone OS that’s soon to make an impact on the market.”

    How do you know this Robert? There is already a runtime for Silverlight on Linux (Moonlight)thanks to the fine folks that brought us Mono (Android is Linux + a sweet java layer to make it easy to code against). Also, Android’s browser is built upon webkit, which is the same thing Safari is built on. Silverlight runs on Safari already, so it isn’t a stretch to think it could run on Android.

  8. “It won’t work on Android, which is the Google cell phone OS that’s soon to make an impact on the market.”

    How do you know this Robert? There is already a runtime for Silverlight on Linux (Moonlight)thanks to the fine folks that brought us Mono (Android is Linux + a sweet java layer to make it easy to code against). Also, Android’s browser is built upon webkit, which is the same thing Safari is built on. Silverlight runs on Safari already, so it isn’t a stretch to think it could run on Android.

Comments are closed.