Google looking to provide 'infinite' storage to computer users
SAN FRANCISCO - Google Inc. apparently hopes to persuade everyone with a computer to entrust all their digital data with the online search engine leader, even though the company is having trouble controlling its own internal communications.
Plans for a Google service offering "infinite" storage capacity leaked out last week when the company inadvertently shared some information about several projects, including one named "GDrive," on its Web site.
Google quickly removed the previously confidential notes, but not before some eagle-eyed Web surfers had already made copies. Excerpts remain available on some Web sites.
In its internal notes, Google discusses an ambitious storage system that would keep its users' word processing files, e-mails, Web history and photos on the company's own computers. Google believes the service would be enticing because the information would be unleashed from a single computer in a home or office, allowing users to access their data from any place at any time.
"The online copy of your data will become your Golden Copy," Google's notes said, while the original information kept on a users' personal computer would serve as a backup.
Google spokeswoman Lynn Fox declined to discuss the possible storage system. "We are always working on new ways to enhance our products and services for users, but we have nothing to announce at this time," she said Wednesday.
If the service blossoms, it would represent Google's latest challenge to Microsoft Corp., whose Windows operating system and other popular applications dominate the personal computers and laptops where most people currently store digital data.
In its leaked notes, Google acknowledged it would have to overcome current limitations on transmission speeds and storage capacity.
Google also would have to overcome privacy concerns and possible trust issues.
A federal government subpoena for people's search requests has already set off privacy alarms even though Google is resisting the demand in court.
Google's mishandling of its GDrive notes, coupled with the inadvertent release of a 2006 revenue forecast made last fall, will likely raise concerns about the company's ability to protect its users' data, Merrill Lynch analyst Lauren Fine said in a Wednesday research note.
This blog goes into specifics.
like most people, my daily surfing begins with google and I use gmail. but I wouldn't want all my base to belong to them. seems like a good back up plan though, in case your computer craps out.