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.

Posted by Ed Scannell on 11/29/2007 at 1:23 PM


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