Google is using its first worldwide Developer Day today to launch Google Gears, an open source technology for building web applications that can work offline.
In addition the company will unveil plans to work with other vendors to mould standards that would provide developers with consistent application programming interfaces (APIs) for building offline functionality into web-based applications.
An beta version of Google Gears is now available, the company said.
The Google product joins a burgeoning group of technologies, including the Apollo tool from Adobe and the Silverlight technology from Microsoft that aim to make "the client side of web applications compelling again," said Jeffrey Hammond, an analyst with Forrester Research.
Indeed, Eric Schmidt, Google chief executive said in a statement that Google Gears is "tackling a key limitation of the browser in order to make it a stronger platform for deploying all types of applications and enabling a better user experience in the cloud".