Monday, June 23, 2008

Gears for Google Docs - Are we there yet?

Google announced Gears support for Google Docs today. If you don't know what Google Gears are - it's a technology that makes web applications work when you're not online. This blog is about Office 2.0, which in turn is about web applications replacing their desktop predecessors. Office Applications(writer, spreadsheet, and presentations) are some of the most critical applications that people use in their daily work-related activities. Google Docs have been available for a while but enjoyed less than stellar adoption, despite their rich feature set. One of the obstacles on the way to adoption was the fact that you couldn't open Google Docs when not online (nowadays it means mostly you're on a plane, at a hotel or other public location where they want to extort $9.95 for a connection, or out and about). Google Gears helps overcome this obstacle by providing access to the files while off-line.


Google Gears support for Google Docs might be that last drop, the catalyst, that will push a lot of people off the fence when it comes to switching to the Google Docs as their primary Office applications.

P.S. Take a look at my other post about running the application in its own window.. Gears applications require the application to be already loaded when you go off-line, so working with them in a separate desktop window rather than the browser helps a lot.

P.P.S. Google Docs is not the only option when it comes to the Gears-supported Office Suite. Zoho (my favorite office 2.0 company) has had Gears supported office suite for several months now.

Links:
Google Docs - docs.google.com