For those of us who are still offline sometimes and want access to at least some web content (me) and running a Windows machine (not me), Santa Clara based Webaroo will be a useful service. It launched today.
Webaroo indexes the “highest quality” websites for content and creates topic based web packs for download. The content in those webpacks is stored offline on your computer and updated periodically. To test it, I fired up my old PC, installed the 5 MB application, and downloaded the World News and San Francisco web packs. You can also ask Webaroo to index specific websites for offline viewing. I added TechCrunch.
Then I unplugged from the net and tried it out. The webpacks were great, allowing me to search or browse content. I would love this on a plane. The specific website index didn’t work out so well – all formatting and CSS was stripped from the page and the site looked horrible. Still, the content was there.
Webaroo also allowed me to choose to index the content linked to from the site, so links from TechCrunch were also viewable. Great feature.
Webaroo is also available for mobile devices running the Windows Pocket PC operating system. And they announced their first deal with a PC manufacturer, Acer, to pre install Webaroo on new Acer laptops. More on Memeorandum.