Google Docs Ratchets Up Flexibility With Files

Google on Tuesday announced that it will be supporting uploads of many more file types on Google Docs, and is ratcheting up the size of allowable individual uploads. There are also new online storage options. The moves are aimed at both enterprise and individual users.

According to Google product manager Vijay Bangaru:

“Instead of emailing files to yourself, which is particularly difficult with large files, you can upload to Google Docs any file up to 250 MB. You’ll have 1 GB of free storage for files you don’t convert into one of the Google Docs formats (i.e. Google documents, spreadsheets, and presentations), and if you need more space, you can buy additional storage for $0.25 per GB per year.”¬†Google Docs users will now be able to upload and store photos, movies, music and many more file types. Combined with shared folders, Google is positioning the the new upload and storage options as a potential replacement for USB drives and other fixed storage options commonly used to share files between computers.

As seen on its Enterprise blog, Google is aggressively positioning Google Docs as a replacement for Microsoft Office in enterprises. Organizations including electronics manufacturer Sanmina-SCI and the city of Los Angeles have recently converted thousands of users from Office to Google Docs, and Google CEO Eric Schmidt has called enterprises the company’s “next billion-dollar opportunity.”

Google also potentially faces backlash from users as it releases its Chrome OS later this year, due to its lack of flexibility with working with data locally. It will require data and application storage to take place in the cloud, so it’s in the company’s best interests to make its handling of file types and storage as flexible as possible online. The company’s latest moves may also fall in line with the long-term GDrive strategy that Google is reported to be focused on, surrounding online storage. Look for more file-type support and increased cloud storage options as Google gets closer to the launch of Chrome OS.

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