File storage for small businesses and clubs

Google today has announced that Google Docs can now store any type of document. Up until now docs has been a collection of office type tools (spreadsheet, word processor and presentations) that you can access online – for free.

Upload and store your files in the cloud with Google Docs

The Google applications are fairly low on features but being able to have a single document that anyone can work on, and at the same time, is very useful. You don’t have to worry about who has the latest version of document – there is a single version of the truth. Here is a backgrounder on docs …

Now, with docs you can store any type of file. So for small businesses or clubs and groups with no infrastructure, you have a free workspace where your files can live and are looked after for you. That’s huge.

This makes it easy to backup more of your key files online, from large graphics and raw photos to unedited home videos taken on your smartphone. You might even be able to replace the USB drive you reserved for those files that are too big to send over email.

Combined with shared folders, you can store, organize, and collaborate on files more easily using Google Docs. For example, if you are in a club or PTA working on large graphic files for posters or a newsletter, you can upload them to a shared folder for collaborators to view, download, and print.

Pretty useful!

7 Comments

Mark Osborne
January 13, 2010 at 6:49 pm

Great that Google is doing this but I feel other products are already doing this pretty well. Dropbox is a great example.

CJ
January 13, 2010 at 7:31 pm

It is very light on features. Dropbox.com is much better. Automatic syncing, backup and sharing of files.

Rod Drury
January 13, 2010 at 8:13 pm

I agree that others are better.

The apps in Google Docs haven’t moved forward anywhere near as quickly as they should have. The point is that it’s a big deal that one of the megaplayers are now commoditizing file storage as a service as they have enough brand awareness they can educate the market.

I’m particular disappointed that the word processor in docs isn’t more like their recent Etherpad acquisition (http://etherpad.com). For some reason Etherpad is assimilating into the Google Wave team, where I would have thought docs was the glaring hole in Googles strategy.

Google have a lot to play for here and their lack of activity is surprising. An explanation for the lack of innovation in docs may point to Google keeping their powder dry before the next version of Office this year, but if I was them I’d be doing frequent updates to just make things better. Maybe there is a platform swap coming?

Will be interesting to watch.

Rod

Adrian Pearson
January 13, 2010 at 10:46 pm

I have used Google Docs and, of course the functionality is nowhere near that of MS Office – particularly Word. Where Google Docs scored is enabling online collaboration on documents.

The MS Office 2010 now has this covered, saving to SkyDrive simply as part of the “File > Save” routine. So, the only difference now is in feature set and usability – and Google is miles behind Office. So, perhaps Microsoft have finally shown Google a clean pair of heels.

File storage services are everywhere, as others have mentioned.

Chris
January 14, 2010 at 5:51 am

What is googles motivation to innovate docs? They don’t make any money from it & it’s not widely being used. Other than to try and disrupt MS Office is there any point to it?

Rod Drury
January 14, 2010 at 6:21 am

@Chris: Googles motivation is money. Nothing Google does is for free, they just have an indirect revenue model. Using Docs locks you in further (a document store is very sticky), and gives google more information on you so they can serve you better searches and get more revenue from people advertising to you. They are very motivated to have you using Docs.

I just don’t think Googles DNA allows them to quickly understand how small businesses and enterprises use productivity tools.

It’s interesting to me that even an organization with the size and resources of Google haven’t executed to the level you would expect in many areas.

Rod

Chris
January 14, 2010 at 2:36 pm

@rod. I agree they want u on their sites for longer, however they don’t gave to provide a full featured office replacement to do that. They just need to be trendy. Also are small businesses large buyers from co’s that advertise with goog? I don’t know, but it’s would be interesting to know. Bottom line is they have NO motivation to innovate, they just have to provide “good enough.” MS need to innovate to continually show value for money.

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