Nice article by Ashley .
Once I get a game running offline on my computer (win7),
Could I just zip it up and provide the zip file to other (win7) users for their offline play ?
No, that won't work - you need a real server to host on for web games. You can however make desktop apps that work offline using the node-webkit exporter.
So then ,
the program would run as an .exe under windows ,
instead of in a browser ?
Develop games in your browser. Powerful, performant & highly capable.