Print 43 comment(s) - last by Sahrin.. on Nov 29 at 7:45 PM

Google prepares to roll out its latest free service -- where will the giant stop?

While Google has its critics, the company seems to be one tech firm that is constantly in tune with what the consumer wants.  In terms of service, Google generally doesn't waste time and effort cutting back or restricting its service, rather it simply strives to give the customer more. 

This kind of thinking has led the scarce stock shares of Google to reach an astronomical price of over $700 per share, and has led them to launch a new campaign to conquer the cell phone O.S. industry.

Now Google is preparing to quietly launch a new service, which both legitimizes previously existing internet software and improves upon it.  The service gives users free online storage space and many are dubbing it GDisk for short.  In the past applications exploit GMail's very high amount of free storage space and allowed you to store files on it like a hard drive (GMail currently features over 5 GB of storage).  Google's Picasa photo service also has allowed users to store up to 1 GB of pictures and other files.

Google is looking to take that concept and transform it into a full featured service independent from GMail.   The Wall Street Journal first broke the story about this development yesterday.

Google has not announced how much storage users will get, but it is safe to assume it will be more than GMail’s 5 GB.  It has been announced that additional space will be available in addition to the baseline amount, for a small fee.

The move will likely be expensive for Google, as it will require more storage infrastructure.  However, it seems a logical one.  The more information users store on the internet, the more they will be dependent on the internet and internet services in their daily computer usage.  In effect this will shift users away from the desktop OS environment, dominated by Microsoft and into the internet services realm, dominated by Google.

For the user it is an exciting idea too, as they get more free space to store or back up their files.

One sticky issue raised by the new development actually stems from an objective Google has for its new service -- to allow users to share their files with a friend, similar to shared space on a Local Area Network.  This will likely bring up unpleasant copyright issues for the company, whose subsidiary YouTube is already facing a bizarre legal onslaught from the rock-and-roller Prince.  According to The Wall Street Journal, Google is currently in talks with copyright holders about how to approach this issue and avoid more legal troubles.

While there are many issues to work out, many users will be very excited to put Google's newest free service to use when it comes out.

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Oh no
By Spivonious on 11/28/2007 9:40:06 AM , Rating: 5
Are we moving back to a mainframe environment? Will I have to pay Google for some compile time?

RE: Oh no
By Misty Dingos on 11/28/2007 10:00:00 AM , Rating: 5
That is exactly their game plan. The guys behind Google do not like the idea that you will use your computer with out hooking it into their storage and application systems. So in short you will have nothing to hide from them and they can use your files or search them at will. You would think that some privacy advocates would have an issue with this.

IMHO a computer that has to be hooked up to the internet to function is less than useless.

RE: Oh no
By Homerboy on 11/28/2007 10:13:03 AM , Rating: 5
Funny as I find most computers NOT hooked to the internet completely useless. I can only use Excel for so long and my local copy of Wikipedia tends to take up a lot of space and gets outdated quickly.

Don't get me started on how bothersome email can be without an internet connection. I have to print the body out, put a "stamp" on it and wait for this guyu called a mailman to pick it up.

RE: Oh no
By HrilL on 11/28/2007 10:13:32 AM , Rating: 5
I disagree. If I didn't have the internet I wouldn't use my computer that much at all. Almost everything I do is online related. Chat networks, Gaming, email, shopping, downloading, banking... The list goes on. The only things I do without the internet is Word, burning stuff, and sometimes photo editing and 2 of those can also be done online now as well.

RE: Oh no
By Sahrin on 11/28/2007 10:25:45 AM , Rating: 5
While I don't doubt that Google will ask for some level of data access in return for free online storage - and I'm sure privacy advocates will have a problem with that, your assertion of sinister motives is unfounded. There was the same flim-flam about gmail, and thus far there has been no string of arrests for "asocial e-mails" as a result of Google's e-mail peering there.

Advertisers are willing to pay to get access to consumers, Google is one of the few content companies that understand that the CONTENT is not the product, the CONSUMERS are the product - thus, when you go to advertisers you must have the best product available.

The alternative is to be like the RIAA, and INSIST that the content is the product, the tune of 20,000 lawsuits against consumers in the last 5 years. Take your pick, but I assure you it is impossible to have it both ways.

Google is simply trying to "create the best product" for its customers (which are ADVERTISERS, not CONSUMERS) - they choose to do this by cultivating the best product possible (free online storage sounds like a plus to me).

And finally, as a person who has been without net access for an extended period of time - a computer that is not hooked up to the internet is worse than "less than useless" - it is broken.

Stop FUDDING, elmer.

RE: Oh no
By 16nm on 11/28/07, Rating: 0
RE: Oh no
By freeagle on 11/28/2007 11:23:03 AM , Rating: 5
Wow. You posted at EXACTLY 10 AM to the second (10:00:00 AM). What're the chances of that happening? Slim.

exactly the same as if he posted at any other point of time

RE: Oh no
By Sahrin on 11/28/2007 1:06:55 PM , Rating: 2
lol. Thanks for the laugh. I'm sorry I can't upvote you - basic understanding of statistics FTW!

RE: Oh no
By 16nm on 11/28/2007 1:21:49 PM , Rating: 2
Yep, that's exactly it. Some 1 in 86,400 possibility, which is Slim. 86,399 in 86,400 of not hitting it. The OP should buy a lottery ticket today. Maybe he could win with the numbers 10 00 00 00 00. :)

RE: Oh no
By TomZ on 11/28/2007 1:38:04 PM , Rating: 3
The odds are actually 24 in 86,400 since the "remarkable" thing was hitting an exact hour. In other words, 10:00:00 or 11:00:00, etc. There's nothing special about 10am vs some other hour.

RE: Oh no
By SilthDraeth on 11/28/2007 4:44:59 PM , Rating: 2
That would actually be dependent upon the poster following a completely random posting time.

If you where to try and post on the second, you could probably do it with a dozen or so tries on any hour of your choosing.

RE: Oh no
By Souka on 11/28/2007 5:45:59 PM , Rating: 2
or did you guys forget the obvious fact that time stamps or updates to the webpage are done in batches or similar...resulting in duplicate time stamps.... who knows.

and who cares.


RE: Oh no
By GaryJohnson on 11/28/2007 11:24:47 AM , Rating: 2
You pay a little more for the products you buy from their advertisers to pay for the services.

What if you don't buy their advertiser's products?

RE: Oh no
By 16nm on 11/28/2007 1:13:10 PM , Rating: 2
their advertiser's products

First, they have more than one advertiser. It's highly unlikely that you do not buy something from at least one of the very many advertisers with Google.

RE: Oh no
By Sahrin on 11/28/2007 2:57:52 PM , Rating: 2
And second, just because you don't purchase - say, Dell notebooks doesn't mean that Matha Stewart's Living Magazine does not write its articles on Dell notebooks - and since you are a subcriber, you are in effect in some small portion paying the advertiser. It's all part of the Great Exchange!

RE: Oh no
By Screwballl on 11/28/2007 10:49:38 AM , Rating: 2
My job is online, we use VoIP, remote storage servers, support documents remotely, everything... so without the internet we would not be an ISP.

but I understand, a computer that is required to have certain information always online can be useless at times but it also allows for a slimmer computer that costs less as less hard storage is needed...

RE: Oh no
By clovell on 11/28/2007 12:07:23 PM , Rating: 3
But a HD is only like $50 and doesn't take up much space.

RE: Oh no
By Screwballl on 11/28/2007 12:51:36 PM , Rating: 2
but what if you need access from multiple locations and you don't feel like running a home server or opening up your Windows OS to outside attack??? Online files, Google knows it will be used plenty... now I wonder if RIAA and MPAA has a hand in it able to search through all stored files so they can sue more people.

RE: Oh no
By qwertyz on 11/28/2007 1:24:14 PM , Rating: 1
Google's new motto "All your porn belong to us"

RE: Oh no
By murphyslabrat on 11/28/2007 10:21:17 AM , Rating: 2
Will I have to pay Google for some compile time?

No, but adds for various programming-related services/products will be in all the margins.

RE: Oh no
By Haven Bartton on 11/29/2007 1:48:14 PM , Rating: 2
Hmm, this is really an intriguing idea actually. Can you imagine corporations using a "free" Google renderfarm for 3D animation, or complex mathematical calculations for economics analysts?

Processing power is just as much a commodity as storage space.

By creathir on 11/28/2007 10:31:11 AM , Rating: 5
Microsoft has had this service available for some time now.


I suppose since Google is doing it now, it is important now.

- Creathir

RE: Microsoft
By therealnickdanger on 11/28/2007 10:55:04 AM , Rating: 2

So true.

RE: Microsoft
By mmntech on 11/28/2007 11:02:57 AM , Rating: 2
Apple has had it too for a number of years in the form of iDisk through their .mac service. You have to pay for it though.

I don't know if I would store my data online though, even if it is free. I'd be worried about privacy and security.

RE: Microsoft
By cochy on 11/28/2007 11:15:28 AM , Rating: 2
Encrypt your files. Then store online. It's a good idea for disaster recovery scenarios, without the need to have lots of physical media lying around.

RE: Microsoft
By T4RTER S4UCE on 11/28/2007 11:17:55 AM , Rating: 4
Does Microsoft even have a marketing team?

RE: Microsoft
By cochy on 11/28/2007 1:37:50 PM , Rating: 2
Uh ya. They market a lot, which should be common sense by now. It's Google who doesn't market. Their products just spread by word of mouth. I don't think I've ever seen a Google advertisement.

RE: Microsoft
By Sahrin on 11/28/2007 2:59:43 PM , Rating: 4
Then you've never been to their website. They managed to get a logo on the homepage of the world's largest search engine (some 65% of all search queries are entered into the box right below that billboard).

RE: Microsoft
By freeagle on 11/29/2007 6:39:28 AM , Rating: 2
So when I post a logo or name of MY company on MY website, I advertise?? If it weren't there, no one would be sure the site belongs to what they think it should

RE: Microsoft
By Sahrin on 11/29/2007 11:25:02 AM , Rating: 2
ad·ver·tis·ing: n. the act or practice of calling public attention to one's product, service, need, etc., esp. by paid announcements in newspapers and magazines, over radio or television, on billboards, etc.: to get more customers by advertising.

In a word, yes.

If it weren't there, no one would be sure the site belongs to what they think it should

You just described the reason that advertising exists. To inform the buying public about a brand, product or service.

RE: Microsoft
By freeagle on 11/29/2007 6:25:46 PM , Rating: 2
ad·ver·tis·ing: n. the act or practice of calling public attention to one's product, service, need, etc., esp. by paid announcements in newspapers and magazines, over radio or television, on billboards, etc.: to get more customers by advertising.

In a word, yes.

in a word, no. You don't pay yourself to post your logo on your website.

RE: Microsoft
By Sahrin on 11/29/2007 7:45:02 PM , Rating: 2
You think Google does not incur any cost by placing their logo on their front page?

Opportunity Cost?
Bandwidth cost?
Logo liecnsing cost?

The fact that it is inexpensive (or free) does not disqualify it as advertising.

RE: Microsoft
By jtok202 on 11/28/2007 12:45:26 PM , Rating: 2
Hehe, Cool they offer me a whole 1 GB of storage, my 1.5 TB of information has pictures/backgrounds/familypictures that exceed that. If they wanted the service to take off, offer it with some space. Googlepages, uses gmail space but allows webpage and webserve, perfect for your avatars and whatever else, Wait and it still has 5 times the space. Little encryption and mine has been secure file storage for a couple of years. I believe that this is going to be a pretty nice service if they offer a good price to GB ratio.

RE: Microsoft
By Oregonian2 on 11/28/2007 2:12:28 PM , Rating: 2
Other companies have had this for as long as a couple years, including free disk space. give a free gig and has some interesting features (a 'hot' directory that automatically sucks in RSS's, etc). is another one. Pattern is a gig or so for free, more (disk and bandwidth) for money. There's one that's part of AOL as well who's name escapes me.

By marvdmartian on 11/28/2007 9:41:29 AM , Rating: 2
Google will soon have the greatest online collection of pron files, ever!!

Might make a good Mastercard "Priceless" commercial, eh?? LOL

RE: guaranteed......
By judasmachine on 11/28/2007 9:47:00 AM , Rating: 5
virtually unlimited
good search
unlimited online
storing you pr0n on someone else's HD.................priceless

RE: guaranteed......
By murphyslabrat on 11/28/2007 10:23:05 AM , Rating: 2
Some things money can't buy...for everything else, you're an idiot for not using the stuff that money can't buy!

By FITCamaro on 11/28/2007 9:54:40 AM , Rating: 2
Give us a story which includes a link to this new service. Then me love you long time.

RE: Please
By Polynikes on 11/28/2007 12:35:36 PM , Rating: 2
Google is looking to take that concept and transform it into a full featured service independent from GMail. The Wall Street Journal first broke the story about this development yesterday.

Sounds like it's still under development.

RE: Please
By FITCamaro on 11/28/2007 2:38:45 PM , Rating: 2
I know. I'm saying when its available.

RE: Please
By tanishalfelven on 11/29/2007 1:26:27 PM , Rating: 2
wanna bet it'll stil be in "development" beta 10 years after its released.

By Homerboy on 11/28/2007 10:15:40 AM , Rating: 2
Wonder what the method of access will be. Hopefully somebody comes up with a nice little interface that will allow you to run nightly incremental backups from your home PC (backup important docs etc to an offsite location).

I do it now, but run it to my work PC which I'm not too keen on. Backing up my family photos to Google would be an nice alternative for sure.

Microsoft.....Pity aint it
By johnos on 11/28/2007 5:57:21 PM , Rating: 2
Pity that when i try to have a squiz i get a "I'm sorry this service is unavailable in your region"
Google has never told me that I can't sign up just because im in Australia now has it?
Also I would assume that the new google thing intergrates with my gmail accounts like all their other services have so far. And going by Microsofts track record google will intergrate it ALOT better. Oh, and the fact that i actually like my gmail accounts and they work nicely...
Can't say i like my hotmail account at all though

"And boy have we patented it!" -- Steve Jobs, Macworld 2007

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