google-docs-offlineGoogle add two new features in Google Docs today – offline support and video embeds – you can insert YouTube videos in Google Docs or upload video clips from the hard drive.

Using the Google Gears extension in Firefox or IE, you can now view or edit existing documents in Google Docs without requiring an always-on Internet connection – it is however not possible to create new word documents while you are offline in Google Docs.

And any changes that you make to the documents locally will automatically get synched to Google Docs the next time you connect to the Internet.

Details on Google Blog. Scoble at Fastcompany.tv has an interview with Ken Norton of the Google Docs team where they discuss issues like two people editing the same document concurrently but in offline mode. Some more thoughts:

Rafe – "Offline access for Google’s spreadsheet and presentation app will follow after the word processor rollout is complete."

Kevin – "While folks at the Google are messing with Google Gears: any chance for Safari or Opera support? There’s more to the web than IE and Firefox."

Mathew – "Zoho’s services are great, and I use Zoho Show in particular a fair bit, but when it comes to trusting a company with my data I would have to come down on the side of Google."

Josh – "So what has been taking Google so long? Why isn’t it eating its own dogfood and releasing more of its web apps with Gears support? What about Gmail? "

Zoho  already supports offline access via the same Google Gears plugin. See full list of Google Gears compatible web applications.