Google has been trumpeting its plans to ditch its Gears extension for offline access for quite a while, and now we've got a final cut-off date. Gears will stop working on all Google sites from December 1 this year, and soon afterwards Google will stop people from downloading the extension.
I'm hoping that before that date the HTML5-based offline options for Docs and Gmail will improve. The former in particular is not much use at all, since you can't actually edit documents using it.
Google has also confirmed shutdown dates for a bunch of its other lesser-known projects. A reminder note for Wave enthusiasts: Waves will become read-only from January 31, 2012 and the service will disappear altogether on April 30, 2012.
More spring cleaning out of season [The Official Google Blog]