I posted a comment on a post about HTML5 and client-side SQL by Kas Thomas at assertTrue.blogspot.com. It talks about–
The Los Angeles Times story about Google deprecating Gears in favor of “HTML5”
–and goes on to discuss that Apple, Google, and the W3C are pushing for an HTML5 spec that includes, in essence, SQLite. Microsoft doesn’t like it, and he goes on to speculate that Microsoft could become irrelevant if this standards committee endorses something in the HTML5 spec that Microsoft will not implement.
Doesn’t it seem more likely that the W3C will become irrelevant if it disregards 99% of the web browser market share. Maybe they’ll have a niche documenting standards for a minor vanity cell-phone maker.
As for Google, they have a popular webmail client (because it gives you lots of storage space), and a formidable banner ad network, but I don’t see users dropping their featureful browsers so they can load more banner ads which track their usage better and have access to their computer’s hard drive.
Rich internet apps have a place. And HTML can be used to display them. And it will, sometimes. But HTML5 won’t matter. It doesn’t do what’s needed for display and it tries to do what’s not even wanted.
Not to say the Microsoft is a saint in all this. They just have their own competing implementation that they want to remain incompatible. They have an incentive to not let Adobe or someone else (It won’t be Google or Apple) build browser-embedding apps that could potentially be cross-platform.