According to ReadWriteWeb, Google just announced a small, but much needed feature update to Gmail - One-click previews for Microsoft Word documents. Previously the one-click preview service only covered PDF, TIFF and Powerpoint files which you previewed using a link on the attachment in your inbox.
The preview feature replaces the old limited "view as HTML" feature, and looks and functions much nicer than the HTML preview - the ReadWriteWeb also points out that you can edit the document in Google Docs by clicking just once more in the preview mode.
Last week, a Google employee gave a keynote presentation at Usenix WebApps in Boston and talked about the direction GMail is headed in, according to Technology Review. Adam De Boor, an engineer that works on Gmail explained that there's "currently a big push at Gmail to figure out how to take maximum advantage of HTML 5" and that they've already been playing with the new technology, with Gmail recently adding support for users to attach files to emails just by dropping them into the browser window.
De Boor went on to say that they plan to use HTML to get Gmail to perform even faster - apparently Google's experiments with HTML 5 & CSS3 could improve Gmail load time by up to 12 percent. The Gmail team is also looking into web applications more, with the latest experimental development versions of Google Chrome allowing users to install web applications - such as Gmail that would load the web application in the background with up to date information, meaning that when the user goes to the URL for the application or clicks a shortcut to the service, it takes them to the preloaded page much faster.