Will Google Drive Tie Together Their Collaboration Portfolio?

April 17 2012 11:00:00 PM Comments Disabled
A great deal of excitement is brewing over the imminent release of Google's file sharing/synchronization service, rumoured to be named Google Drive which may be launching next week. This new service will have to compete with several existing services such as Box and Dropbox, but could integration with other components of Google's collaboration infrastructure be its secret weapon?

I'm curious to see if this new service will just be a simple cloud storage solution, or if there will be built in viewers (PDF, Office documents, images, videos, etc) and collaboration features like commenting (perhaps via a G+ thread), editing (via Google Docs, YouTube, Picasso), ratings (+1), etc.

Google's Collaboration Infrastructure

Here are some of the use-cases I'd like to see:
  • Google+ - Files shared publically in Gdrive could optionally post an update in the owner's Google+ stream. This would enable people to have conversations about the file. Similarly, files could be securely shared with just people in specific G+ circles. People should be able to +1 files stored in Gdrive. It should be easy to provide a link to a shared file to the participants of a Hangout.
  • Gmail/Google Calendar - When sending a message with attachments, store the files in Gdrive, provide the recipients access and replace the attachment in the email with a link to the stored file. Calendar entries could link to presentations used in the meeting and restrict the access to the invitees.
  • Google Sites/Documents - Files stored in Gdrive could be edited in Gdocs and when saved a new version would be posted. Gdrive could replace the rudimentary file features current in Google Sites.
  • Google Chat - It should be simple to share a link to files stored in Gdrive via Gchat.
  • All of these scenarios should be wrapped with Google's search and analytics features.
  • An API that enables other vendors to write extensions for their products (ex: Evernote, MS Office, iPhoto, etc) will be critical for success, especially since incumbents like Box already offer hundereds of applications.

I look forward to seeing what Google releases and how the service evolves over time. Are you looking forward to using Gdrive?