Google just opened an early release of Gears.
A couple of choice quotes:
The Internet is great, but you can't always be plugged into it.
Now the Web is becoming so good that there is less and less of a reason to build software that just runs on desktop computers.
Don't those sound really wierd? They're very PR'ish. I feel like what they meant to say was:
We consider the net p0wn3d and are looking for new space to conquer.
It isn't enough to just write applications for the web anymore.