“And perhaps to Mike, the Internet is *everything* and he can do all his work, communication and entertainment in a browser. I know for sure I can’t, even though connectivity is important to many applications I use, the browser itself leaves a lot to be desired. Even web based services like Twitter work better for me through an application like Tweetie as opposed to the the Twitter site (and a lot of user data suggests I’m not alone in this thinking).”
You can take the enormous popularity of “native” applications for Twitter in one of two ways. Either Twitter’s site is so awful that people are desperate for an alternative, or the fact that Twitter has a pretty good API means people can build better ways to access it. I’d err towards the second.
Here’s a thought: If there were native clients which plugged into Google Docs as comprehensively as native Twitter clients do for Twitter, how many people would use them instead of the web clients?
My guess is that, given the choice, people would use the native clients far more than the web. And that has some interesting implications for the future of “web” apps, which I suspect might be somewhat different to how people usually imagine it.