Hush! Google is on march. Would you be scared? Nope, did you say?
The extraordinary interest that Google generates in what it is up to is stupendous, and Gdrive was no exception. Nobody knows for sure it would be Gdrive, but the name persisted. And very soon, a pattern seems to have emerged. According to pundits, Google shortly plans to come out with ‘virtual hard disc’. Now what’s that?
It all started on an innocuous morning (March 2), but special for those who wanted to attend the planned webcast of ‘Google Analyst Day [http://investor.google.com/webcast.html]’. As is normally the case with Google these days, all eyes were firmly glued to the presentation. In attendance was one Greg Linden of Seattle, who quickly pieced together apparently disparate information that Google provided (slides 19, 20 & 31 according to Linden) on that day, and this is what he has to say [http://glinden.blogspot.com/2006/03/in-world-with-infinite-storage.html]:
Quote— Slide 31 says that Google’s philosophy to new product development is “no constraints” and that they initially ignore “CPU power, storage, bandwidth, and monetization.”
Slide 20 says (in the notes) that Google plans to “get all the worlds information, not just some.”
And slide 19 (in the notes) talks about how their work is inspired by the idea of “a world with infinite storage, bandwidth, and CPU power.” They say that “the experience should really be instantaneous”. They say that they should be able to “house all user files, including: emails, web history, pictures, bookmarks, etc and make it accessible from anywhere (any device, any platform, etc)” which leads to a world where “the online copy of your data will become your Golden Copy and your local-machine copy serves more like a cache”. And, they say that they want “transparent personalization” that uses user “data to transparently optimize the user’s experience … implicitly.” –Unquote
It was a fair guess that Google might be planning to offer virtual hard disc that would have unlimited storage capacity, as well as CPU capacity. Linden’s remarks would perhaps have gone largely unnoticed for the simple reason that there are just too many Google-related analyses out there. What happened was just the opposite. Google’s forthwith withdrawal of the PPT file lent credence to Linden’s claim (and adding fuel to speculative fire too).
In a way, virtual storage is a fairly old concept. Box.net, Xdrive and a host of others offer good value for money, and are apparently quite successful. The basic idea is you never have to loose sleep over possible loss of your data and files. No matter if you travel frequently, and to odd places. Your files are intact, properly taken care of, and produced in a jiffy wherever whenever you need them.
But Google’s plan does add a new dimension. What immediately comes to mind is Google’s offer wouldn’t simply be just another piece. Since Google is known to position its products after supposedly long sequence of research and diligence, it may well be that Gdrive, if so named, will be a super-offer. As and when that comes into being, it may knock out the bottom of many competitors. That may be the reason why Google removed the PPT file posthaste, as if to guard a grand secret from prying eyes. Remember, not long back, Google and Dell agreed to test [http://www.crn.com/sections/breakingnews/breakingnews.jhtml?articleId=179101543] a pre-installed package of Google software on Dell computers. Isn’t that more than a precursor of larger things to come? Your guess is as good as mine.
Compared to conjectures above, this is a more solid indication of Google’s future plans. Google has very recently acquired [http://writely.blogspot.com/2006/03/google-yep-google.html] (March 9) Writely’s ‘The Web Word Processor’. An Upstartle product, Writely easily allows sharing, storing, editing, blogging (and what not!) your documents in real time.
Taking a holistic view of the foregoing, it seems certain that Google is indeed planning to launch a virtual product that would potentially be a rival of Microsoft’s soon-to-be-launched Office Live [http://officelive.microsoft.com/] (now in beta). But, according to many web-watchers, Google’s product may be much more bigger in scope than Office Live.
Figuring out how the future of web will unfold is a dicey business. As I have told in a previous column, Google (and other search engines as well) has the advantage of collating huge data on users’ search behavior over a long period. It is to Google’s credit that thus far it has been able to remain ahead in the race to capitalize on them.
A freelance web designer and content writer, and an avid web watcher, Partha Bhattacharya owns and operates WebInfo, a free hot internet web marketing and webmaster resources. Ideal for both start-ups and regulars alike. Dealing mostly on current topics, Partha’s blog is a good primer to understand tricky issues on search engine marketing.
By Partha Bhattacharya
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