Google, the rumor factory that also does some searching and news and e-mail, long maintained they had no interest in any type of online applications suite. Ever since Microsoft announced Office Live, which sounded like server-based Office applications you can run inside a browser (but nothing like that in reality), the trade press has been panting for some word of an online office suite from Google. The Googlers kept saying nothing followed by nada, but public company transactions can't be hidden.Enter Writely, an online word processor just purchased by Google. The official story says what Googlers won't: something serious will soon arrive in the online application space. As you'll find if you check out Writely, new signups are on hold until the Web Word Processor gets Googlized and ported to the Google cluster by Google Guys and Gals (man, these cutesy Google names are annoying yet addictive).No word (of course) on Google's plans for Writely, but no doubt we'll soon see G-Apps or the like. Combine G-Apps with the long-rumored G-Drive, allowing users to link a local drive letter to a gigabyte or three on the Google Storage Cluster, and your desktop applications needs drop considerably. This could be interesting.If your applications and data are online, you never have to worry about 1) remembering to e-mail yourself a file to work on at home and 2) having to backup said file. These are just two of the reasons I believe online collaboration tools will jump in importance this year and next. Keep your eyes here for more details.