Posts tagged ‘strategy’

May 24, 2012

Google Drive has arrived: Update

Google Drive is finally here. It offers the promise of accessing files, even large ones, from the cloud. With Google Drive, you can create new documents, spreadsheets and presentations, and share with others.

There is the suggestion of collaborative work, by two or more, on the same documents simultaneously. In reality, that is rarely feasible. Well, it is difficult to do productively. Shared access is useful and convenient for meetings and small work groups though.

google drive via Flickr

As with Google Docs, one may search by keyword, and filter by file type, owner or file size.  Over 30 file types are accessible from your browser. This includes HD video, Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop—this part is key: even if you don’t have the program installed on your computer!

Availability

Google Drive may be used on a variety of computers and devices. It is accessible with PCs and Macs, and Android, now.  iPhone and iPad support is  “coming soon”.

Privacy control

There is decent granularity in file access control. One may share files or folders publicly, or with specified individuals, and choose who may view, edit or comment on content.

Google Drive crash

The first 5 GB of storage is free of charge.

The fate of Google Docs

Perhaps you are thinking,

This seems so similar to Google Docs functionality…?

I was too. Apparently that was by intent, as word has it that Google Drive will replace Google Docs for all users:

Precisely because Drive is just Docs with a new logo, Docs is being phased out. The site still works for now and will continue to work for months, but Google is pushing users away from the Docs URL and app and towards Drive.

I had noticed Docs was prompting me to try Drive recently. I suspect this was the reason. The URL will change from http://docs.gooogle.com to http://drive.google.com. The final changeover date has not been announced yet.

For enterprise

Google Apps users can opt-in for Google Drive. Security includes two-step authentication, encrypted connection to Google’s servers  and the same sharing controls as for non-enterprise users. Reliability will be reinforced with simultaneous replicated storage for documents.

Cost Comparison

How does Google Drive compare to other cloud storage services? The primary comparison of interest is between Google Drive, Microsoft SkyDrive and Dropbox. This is not so easy to decide, due in large part to each individual’s needs.

The most comprehensive write-up I found was an article in Norwegian language publication NRKbeta, Price war in the Cloud. It compared a wider variety of cloud services, both free versions and cost for extra space, including Amazon Cloud Drive, Box, Jotta and the rumored Facebook cloud storage. Ubuntu One is mentioned in the comments. The universal language of data storage technology, and perhaps some help from Google Translate, is all that is required to understand most of the article.

Via the rumor mill: Google tablet news

According to Digitimes, and not confirmed yet by any official company release: Google’s 7-inch tablet PC, which Google developed with Asustek Computer, will ship in June 2012. An initial quantity of 600,000 units is expected. Possibly.

September 4, 2011

The Google Labs story continues

Green is the new blue

According to this comprehensive listing via Google Code, Google Code Labs projects will be associated with a green bar, not light blue. Google Labs that have graduated to full products will have the usual light blue bar:

Instead of the blue page elements that you see on most Google Code pages, Labs products use green. For example, see the title bar above that says “Google Code Labs.” For Labs products, you’ll also notice “(Labs)” in the title bar, next to the product name.

The other way of denoting a Google Labs project is more pleasing to me, and endearing:

Instead of the typical Google Code logo, Labs products have one with a conical flask as the “L”… We’re admittedly fond of conical flasks so they may show up in other places as well.

I am also fond of conical flasks.

Google Labs is being discontinued

Swiffy (click to view full size)

Which Google Labs projects will be discontinued and which will remain?

This is unclear. There will be some survivors, despite the demise of Google Labs announcement several weeks ago. For example reCAPTCHA is a Google Labs project, but is unlikely to go away! Nor is the Google Prediction API.

Google also indicated that Google Swiffy, the HTML to SWF Flash content converter project, will continue as a Google Labs project, although perhaps in a different location. See image above for further details.

UPDATE

Two days ago, Search Engine Land featured a comprehensive post about Google Labs. Some projects will live on, others will not.  A few of the more noteworthy decisions were that Google Correlate will survive. Say farewell to Google Sets and Google Squared though.

UPDATE 2

This is a shock. Straight from the REAL GooglePlex was this sad announcement on 2 September 2011. The following much-loved favorites, at least by me, and profiled in the past here on this very blog, are being discontinued:

There were several others on the list.

Google Health and Google Power Meter were discontinued too. That announcement was made separately, in June 2011.

Google Experimental Labs logo

???

The Fate of Google Experiments

I do not know how this will impact Google Experimental.

Although the image denotes it as part of Google Labs, the URL is a sub-domain for google.com rather than the Google Labs URL googlelabs.com.

The official description implies to me that it is a search-specific feature:

Google is always experimenting with new features aimed at improving the search experience. Take one for a spin and let us know what you think. Join an experiment and you’ll see that feature whenever you do a Google search.