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Google Docs goes offline

In the Google Gears framework, the browser becomes somewhat akin to Microsoft’s e-mail software Outlook, reports Puneet Mehrotra.
Hindustan Times | By Puneet Mehrotra
UPDATED ON APR 01, 2008 11:30 PM IST

The news is finally out. Google has entered into the core territory where tech giant Microsoft has long ruled, the desktop. What this means is that a suite of software comparable to Microsoft’s Office suite is now downloadable and free for all those who hold Google accounts.

Hindustan Times, tracking global developments, had last year broken the news that Gmail, the e-mail software that is available online, was set to go offline, which means that you don’t have to be connected to the Internet to use it.

Google Gears is the name given to online services that are offered offline as well.

In an exclusive interview to Hindustan Times on Tuesday, Ken Norton, Product Manager, Google Inc, said Google Docs, which includes word processing and spreadsheet software resembling Microsoft’s Excel, was going offline.

As a result of this, the Internet browser can be used as a word processing and editing software application, like Microsoft’s Word. Until now, if one wanted to save money on Internet usage or was positioned in a location where an Internet connection was not available—like an airline flight—one had to use another word processing or spreadsheet software. No longer.

In the Google Gears framework, the browser becomes somewhat akin to Microsoft’s e-mail software Outlook. Here, the browser becomes your Outlook and when you connect to the Net you can share the document with others, much like an e-mail being sent when you log on after typing them on the Outlook program while offline. While this is great news for consumers looking for free and easy-to-use software, it is not really great news for Microsoft. Microsoft’s offering Office Live falls short with respect to offline editing and saving unless you have an Office Suite installed on your computer.

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