What is Google Gears? Simple. You can now read the last 2000 most recent posts even when you're offline. By hitting the Google Gears button, you download the last 2000 posts that you can read, mark as read, etc_ and when you're back online, Google Gears will sync you up.
Why is this huge news for Marketers? It's two-fold.
One, this is another step for Google to get more control over the desktop from Microsoft. It may seem subtle, but the ramifications and applications are endless. For example, imagine if you could use Google Gears for Google Docs & Spreadsheets? There would be less of a need to grab Microsoft Office. But that example is not as powerful as the ability for you to browse and shop online (even if you're offline) and when you're back and connected for the purchase to be completed.
Imagine sifting through online databases (catalogs, news sites, etc_) without a connection.
I know you would think that this functionality already existed (and, it has, in various forms, but never as pervasive and powerful as this). Google is on a rampage to dominate the connection between users and their information. Take a look at their acquisition of Feedburner. Google allows you to Blog via Blogger, create and manage your feed through Feedburner, read and aggregate other content through Google Reader and now, with Google Gears, the ability to leverage this content even if you are not online.
Bottom line, I am extremely excited about Google Gears and my mind has been wandering for the past few hours about the many cool applications and improvements this will mean to the online experience.
I'm sure I will be ranting more about it on the upcoming episode of Six Pixels Of Separation - The Twist Image Podcast (episode #54 should be live this coming Sunday).
You can read more about Google Gears over here:
Get it here: Google Gears.