Trusting by example

by Giles Turnbull

Last year I wrote a short ebook for O’Reilly called Your Life in Webapps. It covered some basics about the shape of webapps and how feasible it was for people to switch completely to a webapp lifestyle.

My conclusion at the time was that though it was technically feasible, it was not necessarily advisable.


2007-02-26 06:50:46
But for most of their equivalent services the most chosen, and the only real, alternative is Microsoft, and they stick to the motto "We set the standards for EVIL". Isn't it better to support the non-evil alternative?

2007-02-26 07:18:52
Google has a pretty good track record for offering the same level of service five years on. I predict that they'll still have most of their existing apps in beta five years from now, with only 80% of the useful features of desktop apps, just like they've done up to now.
2007-02-26 08:50:33
For those of us that have our own mail servers or work some place that provides such service can worry about trusting Google or Yahoo, but for the "great unwashed" having a free account at one of the email providers is a necessity. One can certainly download all their email messages, but at some point one becomes overwhelmed with the shear size of the disk space taken up with email and must make decisions about whether to add storage to an otherwise adequate system. So I claim it is an economic decision rather than a trust decision for the average person.
2007-02-26 09:16:35
As far as Gmail goes, I've been using it primarily as a free POP server for my physical mail client, so all of my email is archived locally as well.

If Gmail goes under, I'll just move to another email service (I might break down and use the mailbox my ISP provdes me).

I don't trust my Mac or my PC to be 100% stable and reliable -- hard drives will eventually fail -- so why would I trust a web service with the only copy of my data?

2007-02-26 16:11:29
Giles, you make a good point (that you can't necessarily trust that Google will stay Google) - but name me a company / ISP where you _can_ accurately predict their future, and I'll put it to you that you should be a wall street analyst not a technology blogger!

Citing "Microsoft will always be evil" would be cheating... ;)