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CLOUD COMPUTING GETS A NEW BOOST WITH THE LAUNCH OF GOOGLE DRIVE. YOU COULD SAY IT HERALDS THE DEMOCRATISATION OF CLOUD TECHNOLOGY.
The Cloud, one of the most repeated buzzwords in the world of computing, is finally coming down to earth. Yes, we are all using some element of cloud computing in our daily digital lives, but we will be doing more so now that the technology has got the big Google stamp. We could say this is the democratisation of the cloud.
To start using Google Drive, you will need to request activation. The drive takes about 24 hours to start working. Once you get the go ahead, it will appear as a tag on your Google page and you can log in for this. From the start, your Google Drive will have all files from Gmail which you chose to open using Google Docs.
The next step is to download the Google Drive application to all computers that you use. Once installed you have a Google Drive folder in My Documents, where you can copy any file you care to sync to the cloud. The folder will also sync anything that you have on the cloud to it. So if you saved a filed using the Android app from your phone to the drive, it will appear on all your computers where you have installed the drive.
The other great feature is Google Drive’s ability to open file types, for which you might not have the relevant software. For instance, it can open a PDF file even if you don’t have Acrobat on the machine. For this it will use the help of Software as a Service (SaaS) companies like SlideRocket and Nivio ( see box). You can do most of the basic editing on the drive itself and also collaborate on the file with multiple partners by sharing the same through mail. The Optical Character Recognition (OCR) technology used by Google also lets you search within the contents of your files, even if they are scanned documents.
Like most other cloud services, Google Drive too comes with 5 GB of free space. You can upgrade to a 25GB account for $2.49/month, 100GB for $4.99/month or even 1TB for $49.99/month. Upgrades mean your Gmail storage will also expand to 25GB.