November 26, 2007

Google Set to Finally Launch Web-Based Backup

About 18 months after the first rumors of GDrive (code name: Platypus) debuted, the Wall Street Journal is now reporting that the company is setting up to offer customers the ability to store files on the Web from their computers and mobile devices, accessible via password, and can make them available for sharing, similar to Apple's iDisk, and a host of other services.

The addition of file vaulting makes a lot of sense for Google, who continues to expand its Office solution to compete with Microsoft's omnipresent suite. Given the amount of Web-created documents, photos and presentations to be created from Google's Office, it doesn't take a brain surgeon to see Google would be interested in giving their users a single common space to keep their files.

But it's not yet clear what the pricing model would be, or what, if anything, would set Google's services apart from other alternatives, aside from the Google name brand, and assumedly, integration with other Google services. The Journal admits as much, saying, "Google's market power and focus on providing easy-to-use services heighten its chances of having an impact."

While the details for the service are largely lacking now, this will certainly be an area to watch. The question is, with laptops being pervasive, location is becoming almost passé... so would online backup really have that much of an impact? I'm straining to see how I would use it. Despite years of being a .Mac subscriber, my iDisk is going unused, and if Google offered me a GDrive, it too might lie dormant.

(Additional commentary: Google’s Pie-In-The-Sky File Service To Launch)