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Persistent Web Apps and Small Businesses

Last week I featured an interview about the future of affiliate marketing and the Web [1]. My interviewee, Sam Harrelson, talked about how in the future we may be accessing the Web without the use of a browser.

This morning I ran across an extension of that same idea, from venture capitalist Fred Wilson. The name for the technology is “persistent Web apps.” Fred writes one of the best plain-English descriptions of what persistent Web apps mean for most of us [2]:

Persistent web apps are certainly one of the next big things. If the technology works, the web will be like desktop software. Imagine using gmail like you can use thunderbird or outlook on your desktop. Google is developing something called Google Gears that is similar. Google describes Gears as “enabling offline web apps”.

Adobe has developed a technology called AIR that also promises to provide persistence to web apps. I am not technical enough to describe how all these various technologies differ from each other. I am sure there are important differences between them.

But what’s important here is that the web is going to be an operating system with direct access to your device and you’ll be able to use your web apps even when you aren’t connected to the web. This is going to result in a whole new wave of innovation. And that’s a big deal.

I won’t delve into the technology behind these persistent Web apps because that’s beyond the scope of what we discuss here at Small Business Trends. But some of the implications of persistent Web apps for small businesses and entrepreneurs are:

What other implications are there for small businesses and entrepreneurs? Weigh in and share your opinion.