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Google Docs Dumps Gears & Offline Capabilities

Search engine giant Google has announced that the newly previewed Google Docs editors will not allow offline editing of the documents from May 3, as they will discontinue the Gears technology which supports the much sought after functionality.

The new Google Docs features were announced by the company's Google Docs Product Manager Jonathan Rochelle, who wrote on the official Google Docs blog that the online editing software will be getting a new and improved spreadsheet editor and collaborative drawing editor.

Google Inc., which is developing its own version of iPad according to rumours, is targeting high-end enterprise collaboration tools providers like Microsoft, Oracle and IBM, with its cloud based Google Docs tool, which supports all office formats and along with PDF files.

Commenting on the launch of the new Google Docs features, Jonathan Rochelle wrote on the blog that user will be able to visualise “character-by-character changes” which other collaborators make in real-time while they can also engage in discussions through the revamped sidebar chat.

Interestingly, Google also mentioned that Docs will now allow 50 people to work on a particular document in real-time, which will not only save time but also enhance enterprise collaboration thus improving the overall productivity.

Our Comments

There must be a powerful reason for Google to unceremoniously dump Google Gears like that, one which we have yet to find. Wordpress, amongst other partners, used to allow seamless workflow even when offline; what will happen next is anyone's guess.

Related Links

Offline Google Docs disappear on May 3

(The Register)

Goodbye, Gears - Google Docs Boots Plugin for HTML5 on May 3rd

(Read Write Web)

Google Docs incorporates Wave elements

(Silicon Republic)

Google Docs to lose offline support

(PC Pro)