Recently Google announced the end of Reader and some other services they offer, which is of course their prerogative, but doesn’t it kind of make you wonder what else could suddenly disappear?
Now to be clear, I’ve never used Google Reader, I run my own mail server and wrote my own RSS to IMAP provider so I know I’ll always have it available no matter what others may do (well as long as SMTP, IMAP and RSS are in use anyway).
But doesn’t it bring up a more fundamental question? A free service like Reader may be popular but over time its usage may wane, then finally be cut off completely. The user is at the mercy of the vendor and what they consider a priority. A product like reader could easily enough be implemented at the client side but once you have given up control to the service provider you dead in the water if they decide to shut it down.
Most users have an “always on” broadband connection at home, is it time to start thinking of making software solution that can handle this kind of task for users, maybe even a hardware solution to run it if users don’t like the idea of an always on PC?
Obviously for myself the answer is yes, I don’t use many cloud services unless I have to (like SkyDrive for phone backup) or they are secondary to services I already run at home.