Ain't Nuthin' But a G-Drive

According to a tantalizing story in the Wall Street Journal this week, Google is reportedly preparing a service that will allow users to store all of their PC-based files -- including documents, music and even video -- on its servers. The upcoming Internet-based service would allow users to get at their information not just from desktop systems but through a range of different mobile devices. Not only will users be able to access their files remotely, but they'll also be able to share them more easily with business associates or friends online.

Given Google's growing influence and position in the market, if this service proves successful, it could prove to be the watershed moment that triggers a broad-based shift to Web-based computing.

According to the Journal, Google will offer users some free storage along with additional storage they'll have to pay for. While the company hasn't confirmed when it would formally introduce the service, the article said it could be released "as early as a few months from now."

Google, of course, will have plenty of competition in this space as more and more businesses and consumers become increasingly interested in accessing their applications and files over the Web. Competitors such as Microsoft and Salesforce.com have established large data centers dedicated to storing massive amounts of business and consumer data.

Perhaps tellingly, Microsoft isn't mentioned much in the Journal story, even though Windows Live has a product in this space, namely SkyDrive, now in beta. The product will offer up to 1GB of free storage. Redmond's also cooking up another product, called Office Live WorkSpaces, which offers online storage and access to documents via its Office suite of desktop applications. It'll be interesting to see over the next few months if Microsoft starts to pump up its marketing machine for these products and services as Google gets closer to launch with its upcoming service.

The Once and Future Champ: Windows XP
Well, here's yet another reason not to be excited by Windows Vista. According to benchmark testing conducted by researchers at the Florida-based Devil Mountain Software, Windows XP with beta service pack 3 has twice the performance of Vista, even with its long-awaited service pack 1. Yikes.

One of the bennies of Vista's SP1, due in next year's first quarter, was to improve the speed and performance of Vista.

Tested both with and without SP1, Vista was considerably slower than XP with SP3, taking a little over 80 seconds to complete the test (compared to 35 seconds for XP/SP3). According to company officials, Vista's performance with SP1 improved less than 2 percent, compared to its performance without SP1. XP's performance with SP3 increased 10 percent. The test was conducted using a Dell XPS M1710 test bed with a 2GHz Core 2 Duo processor and 1GB of memory, and put Office 2007 through a series of productivity tasks including the creation of a compound document.

If SP1 fails to stimulate more interest in Vista among corporate users than what Microsoft has been able to muster so far, it could prove to be a significant setback for the product. Typically, corporate users wait for the first service pack of a Microsoft operating system to arrive before getting serious about evaluating it for deployment. XP has proved to be so in-demand that Microsoft has already extended the deadline for PC makers to make XP available on new systems from Jan. 31 to June 30. And, with talk swirling that Microsoft will sun set support for XP some time in early 2009, many IT shops are soon going to face a tough decision about whether to stay with XP or migrate to an operating system that will cost them more money and that they have little enthusiasm for.

IT Pros Ask Santa for More People, Money
In CDW Corp.'s 2007 Holiday IT Wish List, a survey conducted among 626 IT professionals, some 59 percent of respondents said they believed their organization is somewhat likely or extremely likely to increase its investment in information technology in 2008. Asked where their respective organizations would place their technology bets for 2008, 52 percent said their companies are somewhat or extremely likely to increase investments in virtualization, with knowledge management coming in second at 40 percent.

When asked what gift they'd most like to find under their IT tree, 27 percent said they'd like to have more IT staff, while 16 percent said they'd like to have a larger IT budget. But their preference for more people or more cash had largely to do with the size of their organization: There were more respondents from small companies wishing for more budget to work with (about 21 percent) than people (about 15 percent). On the other hand, 31 percent from large companies asked Santa for more IT staffing, while only 14 percent wanted more dollars.

Other IT pros' wishes ranged from options to telework, more technology upgrades, more time to get their work done, and -- an annual favorite -- more time off.

In the Techno-Sugarplum Index, the personal wish lists of IT pros, the preference was for entertainment products. High-definition TVs topped the list at 24 percent, followed by the Nintendo Wii (10 percent), digital SLR cameras (9 percent), iPods (8 percent), and home theater systems (8 percent). Write-in candidates included laptops, desktops and a range of peripherals.

To obtain a copy of the complete 2007 CDW Holiday IT Wish List Survey Report, visit http://www.cdw.com/holidaywish.

About the Author

Ed Scannell is the editor of Redmond magazine.

Featured

comments powered by Disqus

Office 365 Watch

Sign up for our newsletter.

I agree to this site's Privacy Policy.