Google is now launching an offline GMail version that runs like an app inside the Chrome web browser. This is exactly what I have been looking for and I find less and less reason to hold on to my Thunderbird installation.
This is also true for the Google Calendar application, same here, they have used the same technology as on the android platform to create this and sure enough, it looks very similar.
Since the Chrome browser has a very capable built-in database to handle things like that, the off line applications has been something I have looked forward to for a long time.
I have now tested the new browser from Google and although I kind of like many things with it there are also a few things that makes me hesitant to swith from Firefox and this is mainly photo related.
The down side is that while running an individual sandbox for each tab is efficient from a security standpoint it is also very inefficient as far as system resources goes. I frequently have 20-30 tabs open and that just does not work well on my system, probably memory constraints that is the biggest problem here. This makes me have to change the way I use tabs and that gets in the way for me.
Another thing is that I use quite a few Greasemonkey scripts in Firefox to enhance my Flickr experience among other things. They do not work in Chrome out of the box. There is a Greasemonkey replacement called Greasemetal for Chrome but it does not run all the scripts yet and the problems are somewhat strange so I’d rather not use it.
Google has changed the user licence for Chrome, they no longer claim the rights to the material posted through the web browser, which I gather was never the intention in the first place but the way some people and online journalists construed things.
So all in all, while a promising alternative I will be sticking to my Firefox for the foreseable future.