Several months after Zoho announced its offline version of Writer, Google has cranked its own Gears with Google Docs, reports PC Magazine. Using its browser plugin Google Gears, the company says it’s rolling out offline functionality to its online office applications over then next few weeks. Users will be able to tell when their accounts have been upgraded with the new capability when an "offline" link appears at the top of the Google Docs site. Though both Docs and Gears are still both beta, the move is a salvo in Microsoft’s direction, taking direct aim at Microsoft’s entrenched, proprietary, industry-standard Office productivity software suite. Conversely, Google Gears is an open-source project that any developer can use to build offline capability into web applications…

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