Online/offline apps convergence
by Josh Bernoff
TechCrunch's Michael Arrington reads the tea leaves on a Microsoft developer's edited blog, concluding that Microsoft has a team building a competitor to Google Apps -- an online office suite.
This shouldn't surprise anyone. If I were a strategist at Microsoft, of course I would have a team working on this as a defensive move. Whether I release it, steal features from it, or kill it depends on what the world looks like 2 years from now. It's not like they're short on development resources. But 2 years from now, if Google apps is going great, you can't go back in time and develop a competitor.
In a previous post I suggested the key to Google apps' success is offline browsing. Interesting comments came back.
If Microsoft is looking for a way to let office apps work in a browser, and Google is looking at ways to get Google apps to work offline, they will converge somewhere in the middle. Then the fireworks will begin!