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May 31, 2007

New Google Program Offer Offline Capability

By Meenakshi Shanks
TMCnet Contributing Editor


With a mission to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and increasingly useful, Google (News - Alert) Inc. launched “Google Gears”— it is an open source technology designed to move Google’s online software applications off the Internet.

 
Loss in network connectivity is a major issue for those who perform much of their work online. Indeed, for them, offline functionality is the need of the hour and Google has taken a giant leap in developing its latest technology. Goggle says Google Gears encourages the flexibility to use the free services and allow Internet-enabled applications to run without connectivity.
 
By installing a plug-in into Web browsers, Google Gears opens an offline door to software programs that will change with Gears and allow the users to synchronize their computers with online applications and then use those programs offline.
 
“This fills a gap for us,” said Jeff Huber, vice president of engineering at Google. “The Internet is great, but you can’t always be plugged into it.” He cited Google’s e-mail, calendar, word processing, and spreadsheet programs, which will now be able to be accessed offline.
 
Google is likely to open source this in an effort to make this as a standard for delivering offline connectivity to Web applications. This could be a major threat to big companies, like Microsoft (News - Alert), as they are forced to reconsider their existing solutions and models.
 
“We believe strongly in the power of the community to stretch this new technology to the limits of what’s possible and ultimately emerge with an open standard that benefits everyone,” Google Chairman Eric Schmidt said in a statement.
 
Meenakshi Shankar is a contributing writer for TMCnet. To read more of her stories, please visit her columnist page.
 
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