mikemuch writes "In addition to offering faster, desktop-like performance, better imported document fidelity, and more features found in standard Office apps, Google's new infrastructure for its web-based office suite will enable the company to more easily update the apps. A side effect (or benefit, depending on where you sit) is that the new platform will ditch Gears in favor of HTML 5. For a while starting May 3 there will be no offline capability whatsoever. Collaboration is a big focus, with a new chat sidebar and real-time co-editing. The new Docs and spreadsheet apps will be opt-in previews, but a new drawing app is launching fully. Both go live later today on the Google Docs site."