Firefox 3.0 to work with web apps while offline

The next version of Mozilla's popular Firefox web browser will put an interesting twist on the concept of web-based applications. Today, the greatest strength of apps like Google's Gmail or Google Calendar—the fact that they're web-based—is also their greatest weakness, since they require an Internet connection to be accessible. However, Yahoo News says Firefox 3.0 will allow users to access and use web-based services even while offline.

According to engineering VP Mike Schroepfer, Mozilla is aiming for an integration between the browser and web apps that is "as smooth-running as a desktop application." The Mozilla project has already integrated Firefox 3.0 with Zimbra, an open-source e-mail, messaging, and VoIP app, but Schroepfer envisions users being able to write e-mails in Google or Hotmail while offline—as long as Mozilla receives support from Google or Microsoft, that is. Firefox 3.0 is currently scheduled to come out some time in the second half of this year. (Thanks to The Inquirer for the tip.)

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