Google Drive Is Slowly Making The Desktop Obsolete

    November 14, 2012
    Zach Walton
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Much like Windows is Microsoft’s platform and OS X is Apple’s platform, the Web is Google’s platform of choice. It’s worked out well for them so far, and some of Google’s products, like Docs, are even starting to encroach on long established tools like Microsoft Office. Now Google Drive, which includes Docs, is starting to threaten the very core concept behind the personal computer.

Google announced some changes to Drive today that make the service a lot more user friendly. The changes also make it so that Drive can handily replace much of the functionality of a PC with some improvements to the user experience that make it even better than the experience you can get on the PC.

First and foremost, Google Drive has always been a home away from home so to speak when it comes to storing files. Like any digital locker service, users can store their files for later retrieval. Unlike other services, however, Google Drive seemingly wants to replace your PC by being a PC. Users can create folders, sure, but now Google Drive lets you add files directly to a new folder while organizing files. It’s a small change, but an important one as Google Drive becomes your virtual PC.

Google Drive Wants To Replace Your Computer

The other addition in how Drive handles files is more of a threat to the PC’s dominance. Google says that Chrome users can now drag and drop files from their PC into their folders on Drive. You might start to fill up the 5GB of free data pretty quickly, but it’s a really nice addition for those of us who backup most of our content online.

Beyond the previous two additions, the rest of the update is more about making Drive more user friendly. Users can now search for files by the name of the person who sent them. It’s sometimes hard to remember the actual name of files, so it’s a nice option to have when you’re dealing with multiple files sent from multiple people. File search will also now look through your trash folder just in case you threw away an important file.

Google Drive Is Slowly Making The Desktop Obsolete

Finally, Google Drive can now open Google Earth files (.kml and .kmz) inside the browser. Regular users may not see much of a benefit, but developers will obviously be happy with it.

It still has a long ways to go, but Google is laying the foundation for Drive to take over the traditional desktop. The Web is immediate and accessible wherever you are. The files on your PC are accessible only on the hard drive or removable storage they’re located on. The advantages are immediately apparent, but there’s still one big obstacle – price. Google’s plans to take over the desktop will come to fruition once its able to offer more storage for free, or offer more storage for lower prices.

  • Lloyd Sexton

    Google drive will never fully take over the desktop, especially for business use. It is convenient for many uses, but why should a company or an individual trust a third party such as a Google with all of their most sensitive material? That would be very foolish in my opinion.

    • http://www.webpronews.com/author/zach-walton Zach Walton

      It may be foolish, but many businesses are doing it anyway. At this year’s Google I/O, the company said a record number of companies are now utilizing Drive to share files and notes between employees.

      • http://www.amazingwonders.net Jason Ratliff

        The fact that they are aware of that should be enough cause for alarm.
        I’d kinda prefer the privacy of not having my every document scanned by Google. Personally, I am against cloud computing even if it is “convenient” — until the host loses your files, gets hacked, or shuts down service, and all that’s without listing the really paranoid ideas.

      • Dave Hill

        This the beginning of the end of our Privacy. Not the desktop PC. It will be around for a long long time. I would be careful on how you write and promote such a product. At least present both sides of the discussion and the dangers of storing private information to the cloud. Statements like ‘everyone is doing it’ doesn’t make it right. They are all fools imho. Ya, here, take my trade secrets, my private information and do whatever you like with it. I don’t think so.

        • http://www.webpronews.com/author/zach-walton Zach Walton

          I think we abandoned our privacy long ago when social networks were first staring to come to power. The only way to truly protect your privacy is to just stay off the Internet as a whole. Besides, Google has no interest in your files. The only thing they can do is protect your files from governments and competitors. The latter is easy enough, but the current Petraeus scandal shows that governments can be far more persuasive in convincing companies to hand over your account details.

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    I never knew this!

  • Sin-Of-Sky

    Completely agree with: Google Drive Is Slowly Making The Desktop Obsolete

    Chrome OS will drive the last nail in the coffin.

    I think computers will soon be less than $ 100.