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Google Docs Shifts Gears

Google GearsThis post is about Google Gears and Google Docs. I will get to that, but first a question. Do you have a Google Account? If not, get one. It takes about 2 minutes to set up, and allows you to take advantage of so many wonderful, free tools – one of which is Google Docs. What is Google Docs? It is basically all the good stuff from Microsoft Office (Word / Excel / PowerPoint) with a few big differences. Instead of buying the sofware, you just log on to the internet and use it. There is no installation – although you should install Firefox as a web browser if you use Internet Explorer. It is also free. Beyond the price, why would you want this? First, you can access your documents from anywhere that you can access the internet. No problems with storage, with lost documents, computer crashes, viruses, updates, or any of the other hassles you are used to paying for with Office. Further, you can share your documents with others in real time. That means that you and someone else can look at the same document at the same time – truly collaborating to make work easier. If someone makes updates, you can view the most updated version when you access the document as well as every change that was made since the last time you viewed it. It is truly amazing… and now it just got better thanks to Google Gears.
Google Gears allows things that work on the web to work on your desktop. It now works with Google Docs. This eliminates the key weakness that existed with Google Docs, which was “what if I can’t get on the internet?” So now you can use Google Docs just like you would use Office. Once you access the internet, everything updates automatically. It is just that easy.
Even if you still need to use Office for work, Google Docs is a great solution because you can upload Microsoft documents into it and export Google Docs back out into Microsoft Office formats. It is really an amazingly powerful tool and a great example of Software as a Service in action. How much longer will we pay for things like Word and Excel, when you can get equivalent programs for free? How much longer will you pay for servers, storage, and maintenance when you can get it free? The future of technology is web based. Create a Google Account and begin to find out why. Attached is a link to a page from one of Google’s many blogs. It outlines applications that currently work with Google Gears. This list will be expanding quickly, but already has several amazing (and free) tools. Give it a look. Get a Google Account. Download Firefox. Learn about RSS. Enjoy. Enough of my rambling… for now.

List of Web Applications That Use Google Gears