It’s certainly not the strangest rumor we’ve heard. Word on the street is that Google is preparing an offline Gmail client based on their popular Google Gears infrastructure. The product would provide Gmail users with the option to read, archive, reply and manage their email accounts with the ease of a desktop client. Tasks could be completed offline, or the client could simply be used as the Google equivalent of Apple Mail or Microsoft Outlook. There are several third party offerings that provide a similar service, including a popular beta application called Mail Plane (not to mention the ability to integrate Gmail’s POP service within any other email client). That said, none of them execute the task with Google’s flair for feature-rich simplicity. The client is apparently already created, and could see the light of day in the very near future.