The company announced Gears at the Google Developer Day 2007. Google Gears is an open source technology for creating offline web applications. This new browser extension is being made available in its early stages so that everyone can test its capabilities and limitations and help improve upon it. The long-term hope is that Google Gears can help the industry as a whole move toward a single standard for offline capabilities that all developers can use. "With Google Gears we're tackling a key limitation of the browser in order to make it a stronger platform for deploying all types of applications and enabling a better user experience in the cloud," said Eric Schmidt, Chief Executive Officer of Google. "We believe strongly in the power of the community to stretch this new technology to the limits of what’s possible and ultimately emerge with an open standard that benefits everyone."
This is potentially a huge step for Google to really cut into Microsoft's Desktop application market big time. If you can easily store and manage data offline and work with online delivered applications, you do not need desktop apps anymore.
Download the early beta of Google Gears here.