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2010/01/12 - Google Adds Cloud Storage

posted Jan 12, 2010, 2:05 PM by Rick Anderson
In an effort to replace the physical USB drive with a cloud service, Google announced today that they will be adding an additional 1gb of cloud storage to all Gmail accounts and Google Apps accounts for non-converted documents/files.  This release will occur over the next couple of weeks - a "bubble notification" will occur when signing in to Google that will alert when an account has been updated to the new feature (there hasn't been an explanation yet as to how Google Apps users will be notified).

We've all had our USB nightmares before - losing it, leaving it at the home/office, sending it through the wash in your pocket, etc. - so Google finally has done something to eliminate the need for the USB drive by allowing their Google Documents application to upload files WITHOUT conversion.  Now your documents are available anywhere there's internet service and a browser in their original file format.  In addition, you can setup folders and allow those folders to be sharable - thereby giving your team access to update critical files while you're in transit, yet keeping private those files that are uniquely your own.

Once the update is received, the major difference is a checkbox for Convert documents, spreadsheets & presentations to Google Docs format during the upload file process.  Looks like the default will be for the box to be checked.  The dialog box displaying the checkbox also displays your currently used amount of NON-CONVERTED data against the defined limit.

We'll need to wait until our accounts have been updated, but a known limitation is 250mb max file size (help file shows 100mb).  Google states you can search for document files, but doesn't specifically state that the search routine will index all the words in the document or the document name only.  Also unknown is how Google's documents will handle revisions - will it retain multiple revisions and will those retained versions count towards your 1gb total?  Additionally, I'm curious to see if they allow any type of program (executable) files to be uploaded - currently this is a limitation to Google Sites (easy work-around is to change the extension).

What is known...

* the user will be able to select multiple files using the shift for inbetween selects and ctrl for specific selects.
* files converted into Google documents, spreadsheets, or presentations does NOT count towards your 1gb 
* additional storage beyond 1gb is $0.25 per gb per year for personal gmail accounts (minimum upgrade to 20gb) and $3.50 per gb per year for Google Apps accounts
* additional storage upgrade for personal accounts is shared between gmail, picasa, and documents

Google Apps premier accounts can connect to this 1gb of data through the Google Documents Lists Data API in order to develop a client front end.  Google used the following three companies as an example of third party resources which will manipulate documents through the API:

  • Memeo Connect for Google Apps is a new desktop application that offers an easy way to access, migrate, and synchronize files to Google Docs across multiple computers. (PC and Mac) [note - this is a brand new application and not yet released]

  • Syncplicity offers businesses automated back-up and file management with Google Docs. (PC)

  • Manymoon is an online project management platform that makes it simple to organize and share tasks and documents with coworkers and partners, including uploading files to Google Docs [note - on my Google Apps Integration page I wrote: Manymoon is a social productivity application that makes it simple to securely share information. By using Manymoon you can avoid the chaos of email and better communicate with the people you work with.  Looks to be good as a light project, business management tool, and collaboration tool with good linkage back into Google's docs, calendar, and mail.]

  • I'll be taking a more thorough walk through the new Google functionality once available as well as Memeo Connect, Syncplicity, and Manymoon - additionally, I'll compare utilizing documents versus Sites - look for future updates!


    Google Apps announcement (strangely posted on Enterprise blog instead of Apps blog)

    Uploading help file (good to see that Google has the help file in place prior to the rollout)