Google, be so kind

Author: Ury Smirnov. Category: Future services. Date:23.09.2010, 13:11.

No, of course, Google is not malicious. He gave us a lot of great free services. I’m going for a long time to move fully on Google’s applications from desktop ones. But so far, unfortunately, I use the majority of its services only from time to time (except mail). I’m not alone: only a few percent of the total number of packaged office programs users are now working in Google Docs (although the scope of this service is enough for most users). What is the reason? I’m also not malicious and I’m ready to help Google with my version of the answer.

Of course, there are powerful factors, such as users’ habits, and their fears for the security of personal information. But there is little doubt that sooner or later, these factors will be minimized, and we will work online. Moreover, in my opinion, there is a way right now to accelerate the pace of migration to online. It is necessary to eliminate the Achilles heel of Google services – their weak integrity. “Google” needs a virtual analogue of the desktop Windows (or if you want an analog of the folder “My Documents” for those who use it more often).

Today, a Google user can not:

1. copy and move files between the services as easy as he does it on the desktop Windows;
2. collect and structure one and the same for all services archive of files – as he does it in the folder “My Documents” on his computer.

For example, if you want to copy to Google Docs (just copy to edit later) sent as an email attachment document – you can not drag and drop it in Google Docs from Gmail with one mouse movement (although it is already on the servers of Google!). You have to wait five or ten seconds until the server opens a letter attached to the document. Then another five or ten seconds it takes to save the file in Google Docs. Plus a few seconds to move manually the saved file in a folder you want save it.

You can not drag with one motion the photo attached to album Picasa. You’ll have to resort to the awkward way: send a picture to the address of the type “your name.code». But first, this “secret” way is not known to everybody, secondly, the transfer takes time, third, later you will have to drag the photo from the album “by default” – in the album where you want to save it.

And photo from Picasa it is impossible to move directly to the archive of Google Docs (although it would be very convenient to store all files of one project: documents, presentations, photographs, letters …). One has to unload the photo on one’s computer desktop, and then to load into Google Docs. With the known loss of time. And disk space, by the way: for a copy of this photo is already on the servers of Google!

There is nothing at all to say about integration with other Google services in this context.

But this is ridiculous, gentlemen! If you want to drag us into online – you have to help us forget about the desktop Windows. You must provide its virtual analogue, which will operate with files online as convenient as we do it offline, on our computer. It’s not enough for user only online analogue of “Word” and “Excel”. I am sure that as long as each user can not create online full analogue of the file archive on his PC, conveniently linked to all the necessary web services a mass migration to the “cloud” applications will not start.

How might look like a virtual desktop in the services system of Google? Very simply. In all the services of Google has to appear a button, causing the vertical side panel- storage. In the store, you can create a virtual folder of any depth, organizing your archives by subject, project or any other principle. In these folders, you can:

a) to drag virtual copies of the files already loaded on the same Gmail, GoogleDocs, Picasa, and others. (I’ll underline that user drag only icons and the files are physically remain in the same places. With this move operation / copy / sort the files in the repository are made instantly. The user saves time, and Google – disk resources of its servers.)
b) to upload files from your computer and then open them in the appropriate service.

It will be much easier for users to manipulate their files and entire projects, with tree-like structure of stores in front of their eyes. In addition, the project folder can be opened to view for the customer or partner, put in a school case study on its website. It’ll be possible to collect by “one touch” in the project folder not only office documents Google Docs, but the videos from YouTube, news from Google Reader, maps from Google Map, Information “Calendar”, pages of search results, and others.

Some of my readers must recall that in the spring of this year’s service for Google Docs can be used as a backup – not only for the storage of office files, but also of any other. I’ll answer that, as a backup solution it is not very promising. Think about how much time and effort you have to spend to pump the attachment in Google Docs, Gmail and albums Picasa, and then to sort them. Personally, I will work better offline and use good old archive on my PC. I’ll wait for the analogue of the above described stores, where one can manipulate the files “on the fly”.

Somebody will grin shrewdly: “For Google, your solution is unprofitable, as will prevent to earn by sale extra disk space”. Yes, indeed, now Google provides a free 7 + gigabytes to Gmail’s users, and one gigabyte to users of Google Docs and Picasa. At the same time to combine and / or redistribute the space between the services is not possible. Now, if you rent from Google, additional disk space (at a rate of $ 5 per year for 20 gigabytes – up to $ 256 per year for 1terabayt and above) – than these volumes can be shared by your services. Thus, from a formal point of view, my proposal is in violation of current corporation policy of sales. Storage, in fact, unites for free users of disk resources of different services. But, please, note that:

1. When files are moved through the virtual store from one service to another copy of the files are not created, the volume of information stored on Google’s servers does not really increase (I suggest to neglect working links to files and folders, in this context).
2. The emergence of an integrated user-friendly working environment can be for many users, the decisive argument for the migration to online.

At the “fat” pre-crisis years it was enough “not to be malicious”. Today it is necessary “to be kind”. I mean not that freebies should be more – Google does so much good for us. And I personally do not mind paying for the extra gigabyte – but today it does not help me save time on the services of Google.

Update. By the way, about the collaboration, under which Google Docs is “locked up». A remarkable would be the possibility to instantly switch from personal to collective Storage.

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