Google Seeks To Bridge App Gap with NaCl
It's apparently -- chemistry majors we were not -- the symbol on the
periodic table of for sodium chloride. In any case, NaCl, or Native Client
, is Google's effort
to bring Web applications up to the same level of performance as desktop apps.
And already ink-stained (if we can still be called that in the Web era)
journalists are predicting that it could someday spell doom for Microsoft. From
article linked above:
"NaCl, the chemical formula for sodium chloride [See, we told you.
--LP], can be seen as salt in Microsoft's wounds. If Google's Native Client
becomes a robust system, the performance gap between desktop and Web
applications could all but vanish.
"For companies that continue to rely on revenue from desktop software,
such as Microsoft and Adobe, that would further undermine the value
proposition of their costly software products. That possibility has long been
foreseen, however, and both Adobe (NSDQ: ADBE) and Microsoft are moving their
applications online in ways that make the browser less relevant."
OK, so improving performance of Web apps would go a long way toward bringing
Web applications to parity with desktop apps. (We like to call it bridging the
app gap.) But performance isn't the only issue SaaS, Web 2.0, cloud computing
or whatever you want to call it faces. There's also the issue of uptime, the
problem of ownership of applications (some companies just like to run stuff
in-house) and even a few potential regulatory hurdles with HIPAA laws and the
We're believers in Web-based applications, SaaS and all the rest of it, but
we're also not ready to declare the desktop dead yet. And with Windows Azure,
Microsoft is at least acknowledging that it needs to be a player in the cloud.
So we're not ready to see NaCl as salt in anybody's wound -- more like a new
ingredient to spice up competition a little bit.
Posted by Lee Pender on December 10, 2008