The Wall Street Journal reports that Google wants to offer consumers a new way to store their files on its hard drives, in a strategy that could accelerate a shift to Web-based computing and intensify the Internet company’s competition with Microsoft.
The service, which would offer a set amount of free storage with the option to purchase extra allotments for a fee, would allow a user to store all of their files online such as as word-processing documents, digital music, video clips and images.
A Google spokeswoman declined to comment on any specific online storage plans beyond what it already offers as part of its email and other services. But she said in a statement that “storage is an important component of making Web [applications] fit easily into consumers’ and business users’ lives.”
If this comes about it would mean that, combined with online email such as GMail, online bookmarking such as Google Bookmarks – which can be displayed on your iGoogle home page along with feeds and gadgets from a variety of sites, as well as Google Reader for drawing information all to one place, and not to mention Google Docs for creating spreadsheets, presentations and word processing documents online in a collaborative environment, along with Google Notebook for gathering info on the fly – Google will be able to offer a completely mobile and fully collaborative computing service to its users.
Developments like this may well bring on a whole new era of telecommuting being the norm rather than the exception.