Google announced today that they are working on bringing the applications that we know and love to us even when we're offline. This is huge because the biggest downfall of Google's applications is that they can only be used when you are connected to the internet.
Google is releasing their Google Gears browser extension which is a piece of open source software that will allow developers to create software that will work offline. So far the only Google application that is available will offline capabilities is Google Reader. They are working toward making more available offline in the future.
This could be a major blow to Microsoft if Google Docs & Spreadsheets becomes available offline. While they are not as powerful as Word and Excel, that makes one more free competitor to the Office suite.
[via press release]