Google Goes Offline

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Google GEARS. Now we’re talking. I’ll watch how fast this makes it into Google’s own web apps, email and calendaring being the obvious candidates. Now Microsoft can feel threatened for good reason.
However, and that’s really ironic, right now browser-based apps are way more costly in system resources than well written desktop software. Yep, you read that right. If, like me, you have two browser windows open at all times with half a dozen tab each, several of them loaded up with web apps, and add up browsing session protection on top of that, you’ll end the day with Firefox eating 250+MB of RAM and performing noticeably more slowly, even if you have RAM to spare. (BTW don’t get the impression that my virtual desktop is a mess – my main screen is a 24″ at 1900×1200, I have a 19″ CRT on the left and a 15″ laptop on the right and things are pretty neat and tidy, thanks. I just have a bunch of different things to juggle during my typical day.)
I should give IE7 a try to see how well it handles the load, but Firefox after a day’s worth of web browsing + Salesforce + GMail + Basecamp and whatnot begs to be closed and restarted. Offline support with extra browser extensions and all that caching is only going to make it worse. A decade later, the browser wars are not over.
Of course everyone is eagerly waiting to see what Salesforce and Google are going to do together. Because I’m an ancient fossil in my mid-thirties, that gets much more my attention than Facebook gizmos. Come on, who cares about most of their college buddies once you have a family? Anyway, GEARS is not the first javascript offline library, but that it comes from Google can make a world of difference.
Updates: additional info on Evan_tech; Google Reader first dog food software.

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