Well they call everything else beta, so why not pile on some more beta on top of beta...

Google Tuesday made available in beta an offline capability for its Gmail platform so business and consumer users can work with e-mail and eventually calendar items while disconnected from the network.  ... The offline access allows users to load the Gmail client without a network connection. The feature initially will be only for U.S. and U.K. English versions of the client.

Such offline features for e-mail clients have been available for years from major corporate messaging vendors such as IBM/Lotus, Microsoft and Novell. Offline capabilities are a must-have feature if Google hopes to make significant inroads with corporate customers on the back of its Google Apps Premier Edition (GAPE), which includes Gmail.
Wow, Google, welcome to the 1990s -- You might want to check out how this has been done for ten years with Lotus iNotes and Domino Off-Line Services.

Link: Network World: Google unveils beta of offline Gmail option >

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