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Google Gears is in motion, but can it compete with Microsoft?


Google GearsIt looks like Google is taking a step in the right direction in order for the company's Web-based applications to truly compete with Microsoft's desktop applications. With Google Gears, users will be able to access Google applications even when they aren't connected to the Internet. See the CNET Networks' News.com story: "Google Gears churns toward Microsoft."

Here's a snippet from the article:

"Gears is a browser extension that will enable people to access their Web applications when working offline. It works on all major browsers and operating systems, and can be used by developers to make any application offline-enabled, not just Google programs."

For more information about Google Gears, check out these news sources:

Being able to access applications and information offline is a huge plus, but what's even better is that Google's apps are open source (read: free). Do you think Google Gears has what it takes to compete with Microsoft? Join the discussion.

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About

Sonja Thompson has worked for TechRepublic since October of 1999. She is currently a Senior Editor and the host of the Smartphones and Tablets blogs.

6 comments
Sonja Thompson
Sonja Thompson

With Google Gears, users will be able to access Google applications even when they aren't connected to the Internet. What's even better is that Google's apps are open source (read: free). Do you think Google Gears has what it takes to compete with Microsoft?

Mas88
Mas88

due to the fact that Microsoft is starting to resemble Google more and more each day. what with all the validations, you know that future operating systems will be subscribed and not owned. Google atleast is giving MS a run for their money, can't be King forever. Besides, if it's free(which it should've been from the beginning) then sure, MS sales will start going down in droves because not everybody can afford the $600 MS office suite. The majority of the population will clamor to get the free office systems since it'll be free. how long it will be free, who knows, but hey, it's free.

Aaron A Baker
Aaron A Baker

Google can never equate Microsoft. MS has been the beginning of the systems that we now use today.It is THEY who have established the Windows system that we all use regardless of program. Linux,Ubuntu et all use the Windows Methodology to get the picture out to the consumer. As for Google, it came in through the back door, never told it's clients about it's invasive policies and to this day does not admit that every bit of information that you type in when using Google goes into their memory banks. They have been deceiving and dishonest from day one and it goes on to this day. Anybody who is foolish enough to use Google deserves exactly what he get's. There is no doubt that MS has it fair share of problems what with "Patch Tuesday" and all the other nonsense created the their avarice. However the fact remains that at least, they are out there in the open and are doing it the honest way.This cannot be said about Google.Someday, the world will catch up to Google and get wise. Then will witness another Enron disaster. Can they EVER match Microsoft? I seriously doubt it. My opinion and my right to it. Regards Aaron

Dee101
Dee101

Are the applications good enough? Probably ... and most consumers don't utilize anything beyond basic features in MS products anyway. Is support strong enough to keep Gears robust and grow them? With Google behind it, yes. Does the average user know how to leverage the support available for OS products so they can use them without frustration? Not in my experience. Since business customers frequently drive adoption (largest user base), can it be comfortable outsourcing control to a system that synchronizes to external storage? I don't know the legal implications, but I suspect public companies will have a hard time with this.

bgibilaro
bgibilaro

As a developer, I think this is very cool and I can see some potential in my own applications. (I will let you know as I dive in and see how this all works) As far as competing with Microsoft, I am not so sure. There are a few things to consider here: 1) While geeks like myself and the usual crowd of MS bashers will certainly take advantage of the Google Apps as they progress, the big money is in the Enterprise. Will whole corporations make the move? I can tell you mine most likely won't. I believe when it comes to corporations, they inherently distrust "free" and are very brand conscious. I believe to a lesser extent, this is true of the average consumer as well. Is Google continuing to dominate search simply because it provides better results, or is it simply so ingrained in our popular culture that no one else can truly compete? 2) Also, while this is truly an impressive move forward for web-based applications, ask yourself this: In my typical work day, how often am I disconnected from the Internet? If you sit at a desk, you more than likely have a LAN connection that is always on. More than likely, when you go home you have Cable/DSL. Laptop road warriors will certainly benefit, however, with public WiFi and mobile wireless becoming more commonplace, the question is how long will this truly be relevant? In any case, I know I am continually impressed by Google's ability to keep the market moving and its competitors thinking.

Brent Fitzpatrick
Brent Fitzpatrick

I think there are enough Google supporters that they will default to using the tools if they are at minimum marginally good. I think they will get both the Microsoft bashers as well as the supporters on their side.

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