Google released their "Google Gears" open source tools to software programmers
. It's a handy virtual widget that allows users to work on web-based applications when they are off-line. Web-based applications that handle e-mail, news, and process information like spreadsheets and text documents can be altered or generated anytime, and then updated automatically when you return to the web. It's in direct opposition to Microsoft's vision of two sets of tools for online and offline functions.
Google has been among the most enthusiastic proponents of this new
computing model, and its executives say it will help usher in faster
innovation because many Web applications can be created quickly by
cobbling together existing components created by others. “It is a
different model,” Google’s chief executive, Eric Schmidt, said in an
interview. “The rate at which you can build applications is an order of
magnitude faster because the components all fit together so quickly.”
Google hopes other companies will use Gears to extend their own software and services. Some Microsoft rivals, including Adobe and Mozilla, which is behind the Firefox Web browser, are collaborating with Google on the technology.
The money right now is in the business sector, and business likes support. So Microsoft's got the edge, and a big head start. But then again, Google was in a garage a few years ago. Google: the nebbishes of webbishness.