The world's leading search engine announced that its free Google Docs accounts will soon be able to upload files of all types. The files can be as large as 250 megs, with total available Google Docs storage clocking in at a cool gigabyte per user.
In case you don't speak in specs, let's break this down into real-life applications. You know those times when you've used a USB drive to download work files to take home with you? How about the time you saved a photo album on an SD card or burned them to a CD to take to your parents? Well, these are times when the cloud -- more specifically the Google Docs cloud -- can be your friend.
Google Docs used to be limited only to the application files it could chew on once it converted them into spreadsheet, word-processing, and presentation files. Now it's become your personal -- and free -- thumb drive.
Google isn't the first company to offer limited storage for free. Microsoft's
It's been nearly four years since Google inadvertently leaked the existence of GDrive, an unlimited data-storage solution. There's obviously a big difference between infinite storage and a mere gigabyte, but this development is clearly a step in that direction.
When Google moves, other companies tremble, so who's quivering right now?
Online data storage and cloud-based hard-drive backup services may feel a little nervous, but again, Google's free gigabyte limit is going to be a dealbreaker.
The real victims here will be physical storage providers, particularly the makers of memory cards, small USB drives, and CD-Rs. SanDisk
On the opportunity side, portable connectivity will be more important than ever, since users will need to be confident in the ability to upload and download their files. This will be a win for mobile broadband specialists Novatel Wireless
The biggest winner of all will naturally be Google. A gigabyte is a small price to pay for constant access to a grateful user. Loyalty is invaluable these days, so Google may as well make its sites and services as sticky as possible.
Would you use Google Docs for file storage? Share your thoughts in the comments box below.
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Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz still uses Google a lot in his daily life. He owns shares of Novatel Wireless and is also part of the Rule Breakers newsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early. The Fool has a disclosure policy.