One of the most pressing issues with the new Web applications is connectivity. If not connected, the browser is nothing but a useless window. One of the solutions is to take the Web applications offline, which Google has given big push by releasing Google Gears. Still in beta, it is an open source browser extension that can help you take Web applications offline. It works in all modern browsers, making it globally accessible and available.
Something inline with what was announced for Firefox 3.0. Not surprisingly, Mozilla is part of this collaborated effort, along with Adobe and Opera. Apollo seems to be the point of interest for Adobe in this.
There are already some implementations done – offline Google Reader will be available shortly and Dion Almaer has already geared RSS Bling offline. Dion also notes that Dojo Offline has already started using Gears as a platform.
A very interesting development, even though I will like to live outside the browser. This can bring Microsoft in a challenging position, since this makes many Web applications more accessible now, especially the online office suites. One thing to note would be performance. Firefox is already burdened with many many addons, will this make the browser usable? This is still beta, but the concept has a lot of potential and I feel we have lot to see yet.