Google is releasing a software component allowing its browser-based applications to run on a computer even when it's not connected to the Internet. I find this fascinating, if for no other reason than that it's a seeming admission that Internet-based applications are inherently deficient.
In addition, the component, called Google Gears, might create a significant problem for Google. No longer will its applications run solely on its own servers, over which the company has total control. Now, I assume, there will be the distinct potential that users will have applications with bugs that can only be resolved by connecting to the Internet for updates. This is, of course, a common problem to all client-based applications, and I wonder if it's something that Google is equipped to handle. Will they be that much better at writing stable code than the typical software vendor--code that's installed on millions of different systems with different software, specifications, and levels of user competence?
It'll be interesting to see how this works out. I've long believed that Google's business model was to eventually become just like Microsoft. I see this as a concrete step in that direction.