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Google Amps Apps Focus

Google Amps Apps FocusGoogle's application strategy is coming into focus with the recent release of Google Gears, an open-source project with a new browser extension that lets Web applications run offline. With that rollout and the acquisition of browser security vendor GreenBorder Technologies, Google has accelerated its work on building--and helping IT build--truly useful Web apps.

The company said it hopes Google Gears will emerge as a standard for delivering offline Web applications. Google is offering the technology under the extremely permissive New BSD license (which in practice makes it almost public domain) and has released a Gears-enabled version of its Google Reader to showcase the offline capabilities.

Google's unstated aims are to make its Web-based apps more competitive with locally installed software and slow the growth of non-Ajax platforms, such as Adobe Apollo, Microsoft Silverlight and Sun JavaFX.

Gears could be used by any Ajax application, and Google will probably get its wish of making Gears into an industry standard: There's no reason for Ajax developers not to adopt it, though enterprises building Rich Internet Applications should still carefully consider whether Ajax is the best platform.