January 12, 2010 10:09 PM PST
Today Google announced that cloud file storage was coming to Google Docs. After quickly reading the details, my first response (and pretty much everyone else's) was MEH. Only 1G for free with no local syncing? I'll stick with Dropbox, thank you very much. Seriously after all these many years of G-Drive rumors that was all they could come up with? But after some further though I think we may be missing the real potential here. I say 'potential' because this is only speculation, and may not be Google's intent, but hear me out.
Comparing this to DropBox is not fair. That is not where the real potential lies. In fact we don't need another DropBox. What we need is, well, cloud storage. Not a copy of all our locally generated content copied to the cloud, but rather one place to store all of our cloud generated content. Think about it, there is a general trend away from desktop and towards netbooks and web services. As we move more and more of our generated content to Web apps we have lost control of our files. They are sprayed all over different services and servers. I figure Google is in a position to fix that. Who better than Google to provide a nice open file storage API for any web service to use? Combine that with OpenID (via your existing Google account), and you have all your 'cloud' generated files centrally located, backed up, and securely under your control again. Brilliant. Of course they'll all be indexed by Google to provide targeted advertising, but we're already used to to that aren't we?
Am I right here? Is this were Google is going with this? Only time will tell.