by Sam Dean – May. 25, 2012Comments (0)
Recently, Google introduced its Google Drive cloud storage service, and with it you can sign up for 5GB of free cloud storage, and use it efficiently with your Android device. We’ve also made the point that Google Drive will provide a form of rescue for Google’s Chrome OS, which has been criticized by some for its cloud-centric focus and inflexibility with standard kinds of storage. By filling the storage gap in Chrome OS, Google can appeal to enterprise users with incentives for free Google Drive storage in the cloud in combination with Chrome OS. And now, it’s clear from the ecosystem that is taking shape around Google Drive that that is a point of focus for Google.
Already, partnerships focused on business users are cropping up around Google Drive. For example, RightSignature, which offers ways to get documents completed and signed online, has announced an integration with Google Drive. The integration with RightSignature means users can send documents stored in Google Drive for an e-signature with a few clicks. When the online signature is completed, signed documents are automatically saved in Google Drive. This is clearly aimed at business users. Think of how a real estate agent might use the service.
Syncdocs is another service that has announced integration with Google Drive, where business users are the target market. With Syncdocs, users can right click on any file or folder and have it synced online. Sharing files and folders to other Google Drive users is a one-step process. Syncdocs is free, but if you sync a large number of files, as business users might, then fees kick in.
It’s inevitable that Google Drive will become integrated with more business utilities and that these integrated offerings will help Google appeal to enterprises with the combination of Chrome OS and Google Drive.
Sure enough, Sundar Pichai, the Googler who manages development of Chrome OS as well as the Google Apps online services, has confirmed that Google will closely integrate Google Drive online storage with an upcoming version of the Chrome OS operating system. Wired reports this:
“Basically, Google Drive — a service that operates on the web — will perform as if it was the local file system. If you open the ‘save file’ dialog box on Chrome OS, for instance, the system will take you straight to Google Drive. “We’ll…effectively integrate [Google] Drive into the native file system of Chrome OS,” says Scott Johnson, Google’s Google Drive product manager. “All the core OS functionality will use [Google] Drive as a place to store data — if that’s what you opt in to.”
Many people who have written Chromebooks off, and many people who think Google Drive is just an entertainment play, should take note of this, as well as the new business-focused services taking shape around Google Drive. One of the barriers to adoption for Chrome OS so far has been that it is not designed to work with locally stored data and apps. Instead, it concentrates everything on the cloud. But with Google Drive, users have a free and obvious way–and a way provided by Google–to marry storage, data and applications with use of Google’s operating system.
Look for Google and the companies integrating their utilities and applications with Google Drive to start offering incentives to enterprises that want free Google Drive storage and might be willing to use Chrome OS, Chromebooks and more. The storage will be free, but the whole bundle won’t necessarily be so.