In case anyone accuses me of not getting the idea of Google Gears, let me say this: I don't get the whole Idea of google gears. I mean come on, it caches your javasript and html for offline use in a fashionable way and enables you to enter some input to your app which is later synchronized when you reconnect to the web. All right, this will certainly make things like playing ajax Tetris a whole lot easier. The weblogs are abuzz about how google gears is better than the second coming.
But wait...do you spot the error? Wasn't Ajax meant to do some significant computing on the server side? Wasn't the whole promise of Ajax, that you'd get some meaningful data from a remote server in a quick, painless way?
Right. What Gears accomplishes is nothing like that (how could they, it's technically impossible). Of course, you would be able to edit your spreadsheets and word processors but these have been around for offline use since the advent of personal computing. In other words: Google Gears will make it easier for developers that feel comfortable in that niche that is Ajax desktop computing.
But they do this in a way that is downright scary. Instead of keeping it simple, they add this enormous complex layer of technology between your browser and the actual server. God knows how any sane developer is going to be able to debug the mess this will likely create in all those bug scenarios. Additionally, webapp developers need to comply with some design principles of Gears to make their apps "Gears ready".
To make a long rant short: I know there are a lot of people out there, who desperately wish for a network computer - and so they hack away on applications that use ajax locally and eventually they can synchronize their data to the server. It's a nice toy for a computer hacker, but I think by the time something as complex as this will be usable by Mom and Dad, ubiquitous WLAN will be a reality and the need to use these frameworks will have disappeared. But let's wait and see if anyone can come up with some kind of killer app, that turns it all around ...I highly doubt it.