The Almost Always On, Not Quite Everywhere Network

One of the reasons I’ve always been skeptical, cynical, and generally a wet-blanket on browser-only software is unreliable networks. Everywhere I go – there isn’t a network connection.

So, any browser-only information I might need (email, documents, photos, etc) are completely inaccessible on my fully wifi-enable, ethernet-ready laptop.

“I’ve got draft posts on Google Docs — and I can’t access them! So here I am opening up MS Word.” – Scott Karp

I see two trends:

  1. Cheaper laptops and more powerful pocket-computer devices
  2. Wireless internet access available in more places

Of the two, I see the former moving much, much faster than the latter.

While there are huge strengths in developing browser-only software – namely:

  1. Considerably lower development and support costs than platform-specific desktop apps
  2. Ease of pushing out bug-fixes and updates

– not having the information I want because the network is down or unavailable is unacceptable. For those keeping track, yes, I’ve talked about this before