I suggested in a previous blog that a new model of a ‘hybrid’ software company is emerging in which Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) and cloud computing vendors are offering downloadable appliances, or ‘applets’, which permit users to utilize their web-based solutions off-line or behind the firewall.
My friends at Salesforce.com and other SaaS zeolots in the industry said I was crazy. But, many SaaS other vendors told me they were already offering an appliance option to their customers.
This week Google endorsed my idea by announcing that it is offering a offline version of its Gmail service.
Some folks expected this functionality in 2007, when Google introduced Gears, its browser plug-in aimed at providing offline access to Web-hosted applications. In fact, Google has been offering an on-premise search appliance for a while.
I believe the Gmail announcement is another example of a growing array of offline enhancements being added to SaaS/cloud computing solutions that … Read More »