I have written before about the advantages of backing up your files to an online service. This strikes me as a great application for cloud computing: storing computer backups. Now another vendor has entered this crowded marketplace: Google.
Within a couple of weeks, anyone with a free Google Applications account will be able to upload, access, search and share files of any type from any computer, be it Windows, Macintosh, Linux, or even the various handheld computer operating systems. The files can be as big as 250 megabytes. The files may be shared with others or not, at the uploader's discretion.
Google is offering 1 gigabyte of free storage for these backups. Consumers can purchase additional storage for 25 cents a gigabyte a year.
Google envisions the scheme replacing USB drives and outmoding the back and forth of e-mail exchanges. Google is already rumored to be planning to release a very low priced netbook computer later this year. There's speculation that the company is planning to use the new online storage service for the Chrome-based netbooks. In short, these cheap netbooks might have no disk drives or perhaps only tiny disk drives, then store all the data on Google's new high-security online file service. Internet connections would be made by wi-fi or possibly by wide area 3G wireless connections.