Well, at least Google knows when they are beaten. Google is setting the sun on the Gears project, citing the coming HTML5 standard as incorporating much of what they had hoped to accomplish with Gears.
For now, Gears is still baked right into Chrome. But as Chrome moves on to the Mac platform, Gears is headed out. Gears never gained traction like other Google projects, such as Gmail.
Google summed it succinctly: “”We are excited that much of the technology in Gears, including offline support and geolocation APIs, are being incorporated into the HTML5 spec as an open standard supported across browsers, and see that as the logical next step for developers looking to include these features in their websites.”
Of course, there will be some curmudgeons who will bemoan the end of Gears, but Google deserves plaudits for moving to the mainstream standard. Instead of attempting to muscle the market as they wish, Google is playing nice with the market. Apple, Microsoft, and Sony could take a lesson.
But, there will be something of a gap. Gears is headed on in short order, but HTML5 is still on the horizon, a touch nebulous and not supported by the major browser players. So, for some consumers, there will be a short hiccough.
Not to worry, the future is incoming. Microsoft just recently began to build Internet Explorer 9 to work with HTML5, and with Chrome now headed that direction, there is no doubt that the whole market will follow suit.
Gears was hardly a failure, some might claim that it laid some of the groundwork for the creation of HTML5. There is a touch of nostalgia in its passing, but more excitement about the future.