Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Google expands 'cloud-computing', offers Google Drive


Google has expanded its cloud computing services with the rollout of Google Drive. Initially the service offers 5 GB of free space with an upgrade option of 25 GB for a monthly charge of around 2.5 USD.

The product is ready for PC, Mac and Android users with a ‘coming soon’ message for iPhone and iPad on the product’s homepage. With the introduction of the service of cloud storage, Google has entered in a competition with Microsoft, Apple and some other famous services like Box and Dropbox.  

Google Drive allows users to store documents and files on the cloud, making it easier to share with other users as well as devices like PCs, laptops, phones and tablets. Google already provides the facility to store emails and other documents.

The product’s homepage reads, “Google Drive is everywhere you are—on the web, in your home, at the office and on the go. So wherever you are, your stuff is just...there. Ready to go, ready to share. Get started with 5 GB free.”

Cloud storage is rapidly becoming popular among people, specially those who work on multiple devices and platforms. Google aims to make storage on physical hard drives less worthy. “Things happen. Your phone goes for a swim. Your laptop takes an infinite snooze. No matter what happens to your devices, your files are safely stored in Google Drive”. Google says.

Sharing has also become hassle free with Google Drive. Instead of bulky email attachments on Gmail or upload a photo album on Google+, users can easily provide a link from their Google Drive to fulfill the requirement.

Search is also a powerful feature of Google Drive. Helps users to get their files quicker. The feature can also recognize objects in images and text in scanned documents.

Google Drive supports 30 file types that can be searched and viewed directly into the browser including high definition videos and Photoshop documents, even if the program is not installed on the user’s device.

With Google Drive, users can create documents, spreadsheets and presentations instantly, enabling users to view, edit, share and collaborate together and at the same time.

On the other hand, Microsoft has recently launched SkyDrive app for PC, Mac, iPhone, iPad and Windows Phone. Facilitating users to keep their important files on their device in sync with SkyDrive. Providing 25GB of cloud space as a free upgrade.

Let’s hope that Google finds its place in the already saturated market of cloud storage filled with Microsoft’s SkyDrive, Apple’s iCloud and Dropbox being the leader in cloud storage service.

Some technology critics are considering Google as late in the cloud storage market while others say that Google will still make an impact.

Integration with Google Apps will attract existing Google Account holders (Individuals and companies) to use Google Drive instead of some other storage service as they are already using Google Apps and other services like Gmail and now they have cloud-based storage solution to satisfy their needs.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Why Microsoft will beat Apple and Google


Apple says we're in a "post-PC" world, keeping mobile devices like iPad and iPhone in front, considering PC as a completely different platform. Mobile devices are for consuming content and Macs are for creating them.

Google focuses on web as the platform of future, which is a device-free approach but requires constant connectivity. Once your internet connection is lost, your link with Google is gone.

While Microsoft’s vision is to provide the same user experience on all platforms. Whether you use PC, tablet, phone or TV, you will be able to access your apps, content and settings. Plus Bing, SkyDrive and Windows Live will give access to Microsoft’s cloud services platform. Just sing in through windows live to any of the devices and you will have it all.

Apple and Google shared the same vision but their execution is different.

Meanwhile, Apple is leading the smartphones and tablet market while google is leading the search and cloud platform leaving Microsoft in an unusual situation by depending on its PC sales.

By building Windows 8, Microsoft seems to understand that PC won’t stay what it is today and has also learnt lessons from its former mobile platform experience, which is filled with failures, when Microsoft tried to provide an interface that behaves like Windows.

Windows 8 Metro-Style interface that replaces Forms received good reviews and was tested on devices like PCs, notebooks, tablets and large touchscreen displays. Blending cloud services like Bing and SkyDrive will take Windows to a next level. Bing will give a enhanced and integrated search experience and SkyDrive will cater the cloud storage solution.

This won’t be a overnight success but Microsoft is getting ready for a long-term plan. Microsoft is preparing for a comeback through windows 8 and this is something Apple and Google should be worried about.