Hyped Gears

Posted on May 31, 2007

Today, a particularly stressful day at work, a came across several E-Mail and IM threads about Google Gears with my friends and colleagues. I finally had the time to look into it more seriously and I feel I should point out that I don’t share the global excitement everyone seems to suffer from.

Google Gears anticipates what browsers should have already and clones what Zimbra envisioned months ago, I fail to understand the wow effect, really. I had that wow when Zimbra demoed the concept over at eTech 2007. Sure, it’s Opensource, and works with almost all platform combinations, and I’m not saying it isn’t neat either, but stop the presses please, what about these questions ?

  • What will it happen when Firefox 3 supports off line storage natively ? What’s the point on disseminating something that I hope, will be deprecated within the next browser’s major releases ? Or will it use the Gear’s API ?

  • Why should anyone download and install software on their computers to get these features ? Not the masses, that’s for sure. It’s hard enough to get your users to upgrade to decent browser, trust me.

  • Since Google is such a big sponsor of Firefox. Why aren’t they heading their energy on getting offline storage onto FF early and making sure IE, Opera and Safari adopt the same APIs for a change ?

Seems like a “we’ll think about that later” situation to me. Maybe I’m just edgy today, or missing something here.