Sunday, June 24, 2007

The missing Google solution: no file sharing

I make fairly frequent use of Google Page Creator (still a "lab" product), Google Documents, and, indeed, most of what Google produces including their photo sharing service. I even have 3 or 4 (it's easy to lose count) Google app domains including our family domain. I've been a Google fan since the first few weeks they had a web presence, back when everyone else I knew was still using Alta Vista (yes, it still exists).

Yeah, I 'm a fan. Google is awesome, the paradigmatic (hey, it's a good word) 21st century company. If they ever open an R&D office in the Twin Cities I'll send in my resume -- just so I can say I tried. There are some things, however, that Google has steered clear of. It's this kind of omission, the "dog that didn't bark in the night"omission, that catches my attention.

Google doesn't provide a quality service for uploading files to share on the web. Yahoo xdrive doesn't either. The old webdav services I used to use, that did provide URL (http port 80) access have faded away.

Sure, Google Pages ("lab" supposedly, but it's part of the free Google Apps service) lets you upload a file, but it doesn't scale. You can't rename a file once its been uploaded, there's no metadata save name and size, there's no real browser -- it's such a barebones solution that it underscores how reluctant they are to provide a web accessible file store.

Look at Google Apps Premier edition. Sure there's no presentation software, but that's on the way. More intriguingly, there's no file server.

So why won't Google, or xdrive, provide a file server solution with a web accessible addresses? It can't simply be fear of copyright violation -- Google owns YouTube! I wish someone better connected than I am would notice this and track it down a bit ...

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I agree, why does teh big G not just go for it? izimi is file sharing with a different spin, where files (any size, and type, etc) are shared direct from your own PC so you don't have to upload them to anywhere. It keeps you in control of your media and your files, sort of self-service file sharing with many many uses, from embedding content into other sites, to sharing music from your home server to your media centre. :) D