Google Gears for Windows Mobile
This is big news: Google Gears for Windows Mobile. Check it out:
Ever use a mobile web application and suddenly lose your cell connection? That's happened to me many times. If you've shared my pain, you'll be excited to know that we've launched Google Gears for mobile, which lets users access Gears-enabled mobile web apps offline. Initially available for Internet Explorer Mobile on Windows Mobile 5 and 6 devices, mobile web app developers have already started integrating Gears for mobile into their online services. - [Google Blog]
If nothing else, this throws a big old wrench in the Web apps vs. Native apps debate - because now web apps are native apps in many cases. One such case - online office suite zoho is already up and running with Google Gears. Native apps: still a heck of a lot better. Let's face it, running an app in PocketIE is neat, but it's nowhere near as neat as just running the app natively.
But sometime in the very near future Windows Mobile must get a great web browser and it must be a system-wide sort of thing, very close to the bones of the OS. When that happens, something like Google Gears starts to make a lot of sense.