What's one of the biggest nits with Google Docs? For many, it's the same thing that also allows collaboration and access to files anywhere: the online nature of it. That's going to start disappearing soon, however.
Here's why I'm excited about this development. My migration from the desktop to 'the cloud' started with my Gmail account. I could access my mail from anywhere, search it all in one place, and never need to migrate to a new account. It was great. Then I started using Google Calendar to organize my schedule all in one place.
So now I find myself with this drive to make my desktop as sparse as possible, both in data and software. I want to move it all into the cloud. There are still times I use my desktop word processor, but I want to minimize context switching between apps. Cloud computing is great, but you need the cloud to make it work. On an airplane, on the shuttle commuting to work, or at home when my cable modem goes down, I want to work on my documents. And, until now, that usually meant saving a copy and editing on the desktop.
Now there's a better solution. With Google Docs offline (powered by Google Gears), I can take my little piece of the cloud with me wherever I go. Once enabled, I have a local version of my document list and editors, along with my documents.
Should Microsoft start quaking in its boots? They should at least start being wary.