An Indian Civilizational Perspective

Google coming Offline

THIS is when Microsoft would be most worried. Until now, Google has toyed with Microsoft on a ground where it was really poor – if you can buy Hotmail at its peak and then lose the email war… you are a certified loser on web, in my book!! Now, Google is coming ashore and creating linkages with its web stuff. So, now its tools and technologies that it created off-line including the "office products" like spreadsheets and docs, can later have a medium.

Google Inc has created Web software that runs both online, and offline, marking a sea change for the Internet industry by letting users work on planes, trains, spotty connections and even in the most remote locations.

The technology, called Google Gears, would allow users of computers, phones and other devices to manipulate Web services like e-mail, online calendars or news readers whether online, intermittently connected to the Web or completely offline.

By bridging the gulf between new Web services and the older world of desktop software, where any data changes are stored locally on users’ machines, Google is pushing the Web into whole new spheres of activity and posing a challenge to rival Microsoft Corp, leader in the desktop software era.

"The Web is great but it doesn’t work very well when you don’t have a Web connection," Jeff Huber, Google’s vice president of engineering, said in an interview. "Gears addresses a functional gap on the Web." Google plans to make the Gears technology available for free as "open source" software, meaning other developers are free to use and enhance the software in their own products.

Gears promises to expand the usage of scores of Google products and services, as well as thousands of programmes from independent software makers, by making them more accessible at previously inconvenient times and places.

The technology also allows developers to build Internet search and indexing of Web pages into their own software applications, Huber said.

Many such products will be able to make limited searches offline, since they will have downloaded data automatically when connected. Google’s full Web search functions would return once the user reconnects to the Internet.

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