Google’s road to world domination


As my previous post indicates, Bryan and I have been having some heated conversations about Gmail. I’m a fan. He’s not. Well, that’s not quite right. He likes the idea of 1GB of storage space, but he dislikes the email ads. He’d rather pay for the service and drop the ad scanning.

To oversimplify, Bryan doesn’t want to give Google too much access or control over his information. His reasoning: You give a company access like this and it’s only a matter of time before they abuse it. But I think his concerns are stuck in 1984 and I bet he hasn’t seen anything yet. Here’s what I see unfolding:

Today it’s about Gmail archiving my emails. Tomorrow it’ll be about Gdrive–or some other like-named service–that enables me to archive, search and sync my data across multiple machines. The “sync” problem is a perennial one for me since I use multiple computers.

What I’d like to see is a service that continually syncs let’s say my Documents folders on a remote store when I’m connected as well as with any other of my machines that are currently up and connected. Not only would this provide me with transparent backups, but it would also make it feasible for transparent indexing (to me anyway) so I could have Google-caliber searching of my own data. And, of course, it would enable me to keep my documents and data in sync across multiple machines.

Local sync solutions pale in comparison. They assume that the machines have to be connected and on at the same time. I don’t work this way. After returning from a trip, I don’t want to have to go out of my way to turn my home or work machine on to sync. Further, I don’t want to have to wait to sync–just in case I lose my data. Yes, I could have my own server and manage my own data or at least route all my data through it. However, this seems like an appropriate solution for a business, not for an individual or the home. Even a home-based Google appliance seems like too much hassle for me. Of course, this all assumes some pretty good always-on pipes to the Internet. I’m guessing that this is a safe assumption. We’ll see.

As I mentioned in my previous post, I wouldn’t trust just anyone with my data. Google is one of the few companies I would. Would I trust Microsoft? Maybe. Oracle? Eh. Nope. MCI, Sprint, or some other telecom company? Absolutely not.

So of all the companies, right now, I’m rooting for Google to solve this problem for me. And when they do, I’m ready to sign up. Yesterday.

Update: A New York Times article (reprinted her at CNet) claims Google is releasing a client-side search tool. It’ll be interesting to see what it is.