Google took an important step forward Monday in its rivalry with Microsoft Office Live, reporting that Google Docs will allow users to edit word processing documents offline.
Google said users of its Google Docs word processing application can use Google Gears to save and then edit documents without being connected to the Internet.
"Cloud computing is great, but you need the cloud to make it work," Philip Tucker, software engineer, Google Docs, wrote in a Google blog. "On an airplane, on the shuttle commuting to work, or at home when my cable modem goes down, I want to work on my documents. And, until now, that usually meant saving a copy and editing on the desktop.
"Now there's a better solution. With Google Docs offline, I can take my little piece of the cloud with me wherever I go," Tucker added. "Once enabled, I have a local version of my document list and editors, along with my documents."
The editing feature, Google Gears, is an application programming interface introduced by Google more than a year ago to application developers to create Web applications that can run offline.