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Agile Computing Authors: Tim Hinds, Pat Romanski, Brian Daleiden, Elizabeth White, Liz McMillan

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GDrive: Google's Huge Cloud Computing Move

Can GDrive become a central repository for the Web-using public's digital data?

Can GDrive (or Web Drive, or whatever they finally decide to call it) become a central repository for the entire Web-using public's digital data? That, among other questions, was being asked Web-wide yesterday as new rumors of Google's next giant leap into Cloud Computing surfaced and triggered animated discussion among the Crowd Crowd and elsewhere.

The original discussion was triggered by the 'accidental' leak of a Google internal memo last year that began:

"The applications people use every day, such as email, photo sharing, and word processing, are moving to the web because it's easier to share and access your data from anywhere when it's online, in one place," before continuing "With infinite storage, we can house all user files, including: emails, web history, pictures, bookmarks, etc and make it accessible from anywhere (any device, any platform, etc)."

Here we bring you a brief round-up fresh from the Blogosphere, of what's currently being said...

"The networks are consolidating, like one big virtual brain, and even though Google says it's secure, encrypted and all that, the privacy-lover in me sees red flags."
Molly Hall, writing at

"Think of it as IMAP for everything. It’ll happen, and when it does, our portable gadgets will become truly useful."
Charlie Sorrel writing at

"It's a little bit like saying, ‘We're in a dictatorship, the trains are running on time.' Does it matter to you that someone can see everything on your computer? Does it matter that Google can be subpoenaed at any time to hand over all your data to the American government?"
Peter Brown, Free Software Foundation, quoted by Maureen O'Gara

"Remember how, before Gmail, you counted webmail storage space in the megabytes? I have a feeling GDrive will do the same for web storage. All your info, everywhere, all the time. Think of it as IMAP for everything. It’ll happen, and when it does, our portable gadgets will become truly useful."
JohnRL writing at The Lone Librarian

"In 2006, the idea seemed magical. Today, not so much. See, what Gdrive seems to be is an online storage service like any other at a time when cloud computing has become commoditized, showing up in everyday high-tech parlance rather than just as a fringe buzzword."
Opinion expressed at

"Google seems to argue that somehow this box will 'amalgamate all of its services' but I think it’s a desperate attempt to think around a problem rather than dive in head-first and solve it. So what’s the problem? It’s this: Google’s wasting its advantage in being early to market with cloud-based could-be solutions by not providing Enterprise-class cloud services. Google docs is great but it’s totally focussed on the consumer end of the market. We need tools with more functionality, or at the very least we need them marketed at business."
MrWebService, writing in The Web Service Blog

But the last word, in the interests of fairness, goes to Google:

"There's a clear direction ... away from people thinking, 'This is my PC, this is my hard drive,' to 'This is how I interact with information, this is how I interact with the web.'"
Dave Armstrong, head of product and marketing for Google Enterprise, quoted by The Guardian newspaper, UK

More Stories By Jeremy Geelan

Jeremy Geelan is Chairman & CEO of the 21st Century Internet Group, Inc. and an Executive Academy Member of the International Academy of Digital Arts & Sciences. Formerly he was President & COO at Cloud Expo, Inc. and Conference Chair of the worldwide Cloud Expo series. He appears regularly at conferences and trade shows, speaking to technology audiences across six continents. You can follow him on twitter: @jg21.

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