However, there are times when I just cannot or prefer not to be connected. I get frustrated on an airplane, when I can't type in my contact notes because Salesforce.com made "no software" their logo and mantra. I take a commuter train each morning and have to write blog posts offline in Word, then copy them into TypePad when I'm connected. I use an offline RSS reader to read posts on the train, even though I'd prefer the navigation of online-only reader Netvibes.
As part of the launch, Google has added Gears offline capabilities to its Google feed reader. It will soon Gear-enable its office applications such as Google Docs & Spreadsheets and Google Calendar.
With Google, it's hard to anticipate whether they will put a serious push behind their new offerings, particularly those outside of its core advertising platform. If they put a big push behind Gears and it gets takeup in the open source community, it could have a significant impact.