Google: Anywhere, Anytime, Anyhow
The search technology presents mobile phone users with a stripped-down search page and the ability to search through Web pages "that have been specifically designed for mobile."
Google isn't saying too much about how it renders the Web pages yet, and didn't answer calls about the mobile search technology. There have, of course, been plenty of attempts to bring the Web to the tiny screens of cellphones before, some more successful than others. Unstrung will report back on the effectiveness of Google's effort after we have used it for a little while.
The even more shadowy gDrive project, which seems like it may be little more than slideware at the moment, is said to promise access to online files of many different types on any type of device. This could be interesting for a certain type of enterprise user, says Roger Cass, CTO of healthcare company MediSync in an email today.
"An enterprise might maintain all 'business' data on a secure storage medium within the 'closed' enterprise, but allow users to access... gDrive for other non-sensitive storage," Cass writes.
"For SMBs who are willing to sacrifice security for convenience, I can see this kind of resource being invaluable for dynamic, highly transitive businesses."
Security is -- naturally -- the big question around this kind of massive storage project. "What prevents me from sharing my password, thus allowing a huge hole for sensitive data to be exported?" Cass wonders.
"If I were pondering a non-Google solution to access-anywhere storage, I would be looking for multi-factor authentication among other things. That constraint does not go away with gDrive. Since details are sketchy, I can't say if or how Google would support such security."
Nonetheless, it seems as if users will have to ponder issues further as more companies start to out these kind of always-available remote access services.
Google isn't alone in pushing these these types of applications, as Forrester Research Inc. analyst Charles Golvin notes.
"I think others already hold the view that they would like to hold your 'golden' data repository -- e.g., Sprint's voice command service or Yahoo Go both seek to lock in users by providing added value based on your data residing in the network," Golvin notes.
— Dan Jones, Site Editor, Unstrung