RE Google gears, funny how our views on this differ so much. I consider Google's decision to drop gears as one of the wisest decision of a tech company in recent years. Had Microsoft done the same in circa 2000, when SVG became a w3c standard, and dropped VML, the web would have been better off. Same for its nonstandard event model.
Gears was a Google project, predating widespread HTML5 conformant browsers. It was a project design to push the web forward. And the web did go forward as we all know. Once HTML5 included most of what gears was, what was the point to continue with it? To create more misery for developers and the web?
Microsoft stood before decisions like that many times. And it always chose wrong. Microsoft and its so-called web-developers never dugg the web. That's why they created IE6-only monstrosities claiming to be web-sites.