Google Gears went into beta two weeks ago. It comprises three APIs that provide a local server on the client, local data storage and a background synchronisation capability.
The company is letting developers play with the APIs, and Google has created a sample application that works with Google Reader, its syndication software.
"We are definitely in the trial-and-error stage, but we are fairly confident it meets the needs of Google applications," said Linus Upson, engineering director for Google Gears. "But there are a lot of smart developers out there, and we want to leverage their help and see what they are doing."
Google said the focus with Google Apps is not to attack Microsoft or IBM with desktop applications, but to strengthen its own service offerings.
"I don't wake up every morning and think, how do I beat Microsoft and IBM," Glotzbach said. "Our goal is, how can we enable communication and collaboration in a new and more efficient and more effective way? The bigger interest is software-as-a-service."