Chalk one up for Web Standards.
Google has decided to retire Google Gears and is moving forward with HTML5. This isn’t really exciting news for the everyday web user but for the standardistas out there (*chirp* *chirp*), this is exciting news. Heck, HTML5 is still not even done a formal specification! With this development Gears has almost fulfilled its intended use– to be the stop gap to Google’s needs for offline storage and a few other API’s before HTML5 could deliver.
With Google Chrome and perhaps the Google Chrome OS, Google may be priming HTML5 into the forefront sooner than expected. (Some folks estimate HTML5 will hit critical mass at around 2015).
So why is HTML5 getting this much traction this early? Well, if you ask me, it’s because the users’ expectations of the web is increasing by the day and the development of the spec is lagging far behind. This need has given the browser makers the impetus to go ahead and implement bits and pieces of HTML5. Now, Google is banking on the available components of HTML5 will be able to deliver their intended web experience.
HTML5 may be far from finished, but Google thinks it’s already good enough.