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Memeo Tries to Revive the GDrive

Memeo today announced the general availability of its Memeo Connect product that fills a glaring hole in Google’s (s goog) product offering. One of the most hyped features we’ve never seen Google actually roll out is GDrive, the cloud storage offering we’ve been talking about for close to three years that still isn’t a product for public consumption. Back in January, Google began to offer users the ability to upload different types of files into Google docs, but this was a pretty lightweight offering. Memeo and a number of players have jumped into this void to provide a document- and file-syncing tool built on the back of Google’s infrastructure.

Memeo Connect creates a drive that is mounted and accessible from a Windows (s msft) or Mac OS (s aapl) machine, with the files residing on Google’s infrastructure. As part of the latest launch, Memeo is releasing some new functionality including:

  • The ability to search within all documents
  • The ability to cancel all uploads
  • Advanced document filtering option by Office and Google categories and file types
  • A ‘Download All’ Google Docs option
  • The trash now shows how many items are it in
  • Visibility of the folders that others are sharing with a user
  • View Online and Share Online context menu options for Folders
  • an iPhone (s aapl) application

As I wrote last week, differentiation in the cloud storage business is hard. Users tends to forget storage when it’s working, and thus the ability to create a standout product offering is difficult. I questioned Spencer Chen, Director, Strategy and Business Development at Memeo about their key differentiator. He said:

Memeo Connect’s unfair advantage will always be our back end … Google. Our deep partnership and even deeper product integration provides customers with the ideal joint solution. Memeo’s proven expertise in data management and file sync, together with Google’s mind-numbing portfolio of web technologies makes for a formidable content management offering.

Chen also provided some statistics on Memeo’s adoption including the facts that:

  • Users of the software were disproportionately Mac users: 24 percent of active Memeo Connect Beta users were running Mac OS.
  • 36 percent of beta users leveraged the GDrive across multiple machines.
  • 10 percent of users accessed their GDrives on both Windows and Mac PCs.
  • 30 percent of users were international.
  • Users ended the beta with an average of 480 files across 60 folders in their GDrive.
  • There were many more native Google Docs accessed than Microsoft Office documents.
  • Users were more likely to use the Google-powered search to find files (an average of 10 searches per day) than navigate to them.

This all indicates that Memeo is being adopted by small business (SMB) users, rather than the enterprise customer base. Chen agreed with this analysis, adding that:

The data, statistically and anecdotally, is clearly telling us that Google Docs adoption remains in the mid-market…the SMBs and very small enterprises. The disruption always comes from the low-end off the market. Enterprise adoption is coming along slower, but that shouldn’t surprise anyone. Microsoft Office just celebrated its 20th birthday and Google Apps is not going to displace that overnight.

Related Post from GigaOM Pro (sub. req’d.)Infrastructure overview, Q2 2010

Ben Kepes is an independent consultant and contributing writer for GigaOM. Please see his disclosure statement in his bio.