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Google Docs Ratchets Up Flexibility With Files

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Google (s Goog) 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 (s msft) Office in enterprises. Organizations including electronics manufacturer Sanmina-SCI (S samn) 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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9 Responses to “Google Docs Ratchets Up Flexibility With Files”

  1. It’s important to remember that Google Docs Premium Users can make this process easy by using Memeo Connect for Google Apps. This new product allows users to access and sync any file on any desktop; edit Google Docs files offline using Microsoft Office; migrate existing files into Google Docs effortlessly; and have an overall richer desktop experience that users have become accustomed to. For more info or to preorder your copy, go to

    [email protected]

  2. This new development shows that Google has realized it cannot gain incursions into the business market unless it integrates with widely used traditional software, and makes some concessions on its “all online” approach. It offered Outlook integration with Google Apps a few months ago, then batch uploads, and now storage for traditional files.

    Based on feedback from our small business users, and many years in the collaboration scape, at HyperOffice we have long known this. We have concentrated on offering solutions that work within the environment of Outlook, MS Office and other popular software, and not been in a hurry to go the “all online” way.

  3. des cahill

    Based on my use of Google Docs for workgroup collaboration, Google has a long way to go to become Office in the cloud. A workgroup of five, my band, was sharing documents via Google Docs, 50 to 60 song charts, extensively for a 3 month period at the end of 2009.
    UI was very non-intuitive (is Apple the only company who can do good UI? why is that?).
    In regard to Google Docs having shareable folder – it doesn’t have true shared folders. I can set up a folder named “final setlist” which has a default permissions setting (e.g., make this document available to everyone in the band) for every doc I place in that folder. But I can’t (or couldn’t in Dec ’09) make that folder “final setlist” appear in the rest of the bands UI. Instead any docs I put in my folder just pop up in the soup of documents that my band members see. A subtle difference it may seem, but the lack of this capability severely limits true document collaboration (and organization) on any scale. We nearly moved to Google Groups which does have shared folders. But then that app has lots of other limits.
    Google does a few things magnificently (Adwords, Maps, Gmail…Android?) and many things so-so (Docs, Calendar) and some things are just bizarre (Wave). Note to the Googleplex – focus up people.

  4. Kelly Reeves

    Great service! Check out Memeo Connect for Google Apps- a new desktop application that offers an easy way to access, migrate, and synchronize files to Google Docs across multiple computers.