Chrome 12, the upcoming version of Google's browser which is likely to be free today, removes a useful feature: the built-in Gears plugin. While most Google services dropped support for Gears and detached offline way in, Gears is still being used in Gmail. Google no longer maintains Gears, which is now legacy software, and focuses on implementing offline hold up using HTML5.
But why remove Gears hold up without implementing the features using HTML5 first? Google says that you'll only need to wait for a few weeks or you can still older versions of Firefox, Internet Explorer and mail client such as Thunderbird or Outlook.
"The new Gmail Offline ability is targeted for delivery as a Chrome browser web app this summer. As we move the Gmail Offline capability to a Chrome web app, we will denounce the Google Gears-based Gmail Offline. This coincides with the version 12 release of the Google Chrome browser which no longer supports Gears. As a result, Google Gears-based Gmail Offline will no longer work with the Chrome browser as of Tuesday May 24, 2011. Google Gears-based Gmail Offline will carry on to work in Internet Explorer 8 and Mozilla Firefox 3.6," explains Google.
It's not the best thing to do after believable users to switch to Chrome and use Web apps, but it's just a temporary issue. If the HTML5 offline Gmail wasn't ready to be free, removing Gears from Chrome could have been delayed.