Sometimes Google comes up with something extremely surprising. In fact this does seem to happen more often than with almost any other company in the entire world.
This week's surprise is Google Gears. It sounds pretty innocuous - it will allow web apps to work when you're offline. The first app is very exciting, it lets people use Google Reader when they're offline. I think this is fantastic and will make my next couple of train trips far more interesting as I can read my feeds rather than the newspaper.
However, the important development is that we will be able to use Google Docs offline (I assume). We will be able to use Google Writer instead of Word, Google Spreadsheets instead of Excel and the forthcoming Google Presentations instead of Powerpoint.
At the moment, Google's offerings are not as good as Microsoft's, but they're free while Microsoft's cost a large amount of money.
We'll see if this does make a huge difference to people's usage of Google services, but I can see it being beneficial. The only problem is that Google will now become a software supplier. I think there'll be a couple of people using this Google Gears product to hack into people's computers at some point - it does seem to give people rather a large amount of access to their computers.
It does look like it will be possible to accomplish almost everything on a computer without leaving Google's own sites. Probably not a good thing!!
Let's hope Ask's information revolution actually happens.