Google has decided to stop any further development on its Gears plug-in which allows web browsers to run more powerful web applications. One of the most important features of Gears is the ability to store data onto a computer which allows the web application to run even if the user is not online.
Google's engineering director for the Chrome browser and Chrome OS, Linus Upson, said that Gears will be supported by Google as many browsers run on it, but any further development in the project has stopped. He added that Google was focused on making the HTML 5 web standard popular.
The reason for the pull-out is that HTML 5 has the same features which Google Gears had, like the functions that allow web apps to run even when not online. Google felt that Gears had turned into a non-standard platform and therefore it has decided to work towards the development of HTML 5.
Interestingly Gears was launched in 2007 as plug-in to allow browser databases and geolocation functionality in browsers. Since then it has been incorporated in several prominent web browsers.
The decision by the search engine giant to drop its plug-in has been hailed by many open source proponents who have contrasted its approach with Microsoft’s recent move to introduce Bing Maps, a feature based on its proprietary Silverlight plug-in.