I’d have more confidence in Google’s new Chromebook if I had ever had a good experience with Google Gears. Because Internet connections for mobile devices are still extremely flaky, even when you pay a lot of money for them. But user data needs to be available offline, and the Chromebook will need this to succeed.
Gears was supposed to do this, but never did. It was then retired, to be replaced by an HTML5 implementation of similar functionality, but currently there is no offline functionality available for Gmail, Google Calendar, or Docs.
It just strikes me as odd since offline access has worked wonderfully in the Google smartphones from Day One!