Jonathan Boutelle writes:
The google proposal to provide wireless access to all of San Francisco is a bold move by google to increase the mobile use of web-based applications among early adopters.
Current attempts to move applications to the web are crippled by the fact that users cant reliably get an internet connection when outside there home or office. For example, an online calendar is an obvious potential killer app (since it lets you easily share your schedule and coordinate with others, on online calendar is far superior to a desktop-based calendaring application). But most people who require an online calendar need to access that data when they are on the move (for example, in the dentists office, in a meeting at a client site, or on the train). The same principal applies to online word processors, wikis, email clients, and so on. Unless you can count on always being able to connect to the network, most users will prefer to carry their applications and data with them, rather than using a web application.
By providing wireless data access throughout San Francisco, Google is trying to create conditions that will allow the early adopters to switch wholesale from desktop applications to web-based applications.