After more than five years as a publicly available test version, Gmail shed its beta label in July. Now one feature key to the Net giant's cloud computing aspirations, offline access to Gmail, also has grown up less than a year after its debut.

"Offline Gmail is graduating from Labs and becoming a regular part of Gmail," Google programmer Aaron Whyte announced the change Monday in a blog post.

Offline Gmail support, which relies on a Google browser plug-in called Gears, lets people read, search, organize, and compose e-mail even when there's no Net connection; sent messages are queued up in an outbox for delivery when the network access is restored and the account on the computer can resynchronize with the server.

Full story: c|net