Google announced that beginning soon they would allow you to upload files of any type to Google Docs and offer you 1 GB of additional storage free. This is something that I have heard rumors about for awhile, so I wasn’t surprised when it was announced, but I have been personally dreading it. You see my employer owns an online file storage website called TrueShare, which I have been the primary developer on for over 2 years now. The website itself has been around much much longer than that though, it started in 2003 as a website called Easy FTP and then became TrueShare.
Since I have been on the TrueShare project I have put a great deal of hard work into the application, but being that we are still a small development shop with no investment capital it has been a struggle to keep up with the likes of DropBox, Box.Net, Files Anywhere, Drop.Io and the oodles of other file sharing websites out there. Now you add Google into the mix and it’s going to make it a great deal harder of a struggle simply because of the weight that Google can toss around.
Now of course I have already started to pick apart the offering through Google docs and my biggest flaw I can see is the 250 MB individual file size limit. I’m honestly not sure why Google did it, there is probably a good reason but it is something that sets them apart from the other offerings out there. In fact some of the sites I’ve listed do not have an individual file size limit. That and the current lack of extended features are the only two things that I can really pick at the Google Docs offering for.
One of the main things that Google does have going for them is the pricing structure for additional storage space. It’s cheap, real cheap. If you look at any of the other prices out there their price is simply the best, mostly because they have the infrastructure to get away with it. They already have infrastructures in place to redundantly store mass amounts of information that would probably boggle the mind of anyone who were to try and comprehend it. So allowing people to pay to store files there really makes sense. Whereas smaller companies are not able to get away with that cheap of a pricing structure and still make money because they don’t have the infrastructure to support it.
Now I already use Google Docs, in fact I write all my blog posts in Google Docs before I post them. I also use it’s sharing and collaboration features with friends and family. Right now i’m interested to see how the features that are currently in place for Google Docs will be carried over to files that are uploaded that won’t be able to be modified online. Most importantly i’m interested in if there will be a revision history for files that are uploaded similar to that which can be viewed for documents currently.
I guess at this point we all just have to wait and see how things progress. No one can really guess how big of an impact Google will have on the cloud storage market until it actually enters the market.