Google is dropping development of its Gears web programing standard in favor of HTML 5, a new web protocol bringing rich features to the web without the need of special plugins.

Gears, which launched in 2007, enables Google users to access accounts, such as Gmail or WordPress, while offline , and also allows for more powerful web applications by adding features to your browser.

The latest generation of browsers are able to natively support new web standards, such as HTML 5, making separate programs, such as Google Gears, unnecessary.

In January, we shipped a new version of Google Chrome that natively supports a Database API similar to the Gears database API, wrote Ian Fette, a Google engineer, on the company blog. Other facets of Gears, such as the LocalServer API and Geolocation, are also represented by similar APIs in new standards and will be included in Google Chrome shortly.

Gears has taken us the first part of the way; now we're excited to see browsers take us the rest of the way.

HTML 5 is a new standard for the Internet that will allow developers to embed video and animate websites without the need for plug-ins, such as Adobe Flash.