In reading Dan Grabham's blog post over at techradar.com , it seems to me he's pretty much hit the nail on the head. The combination of Chrome and Google Gears makes Google's dominance of the desktop, not just the Net, pretty much of a lead pipe cinch. Why pay Microsoft for Word(r), Powerpoint(r), and Excel(r) when one can have functional equivalents, and a whole lot more, for free. Plus, with Gears, one can use them from any computer connected to the Net online, and offline too.
Of course, many in the private sector will be happy to continue to pay for the added security represented by Microsoft's propriety software, but those outside of that realm (and increasingly, many within it as well), will come to see those costs as wasteful and unnecessary.
Seems to me that this is going to be really, really huge. We'll see.
Image from www.zepy.net/archives/