[AoyW] GDrive? GWrite? Gee Whiz (not).
ASP 1.1, here we come! Google seems ready to roll out the GOffice, with calendaring imminent, file service in the works, and ink drying on the Writely acquisition. Is Microsoft worried? I doubt it.
Google has it exactly backwards, especially regarding online storage. Rather than an online repository and desktop cache, what users need is a mobile repository (e.g. 32G flash drive with UWB wireless) for always-on-you apps & data, with an online subset of data for (semi-)public viewing and mash-ups.
Wireless flash drives are inherently bigger, faster, and more reliable than any WAN-based service. The net should be used to sync shared content on your drive with others, not deliver it just-in-time.
32G not enough? Take 2, take 5... they're cheap and small. Flash doesn't have this density today, but at the curerent rate of improvement, it will within three years. Got to have it now? Carry a pocket USB hard drive.
Heavy storage consumers will also need auto-archiving of older content; user-encrypted and housed at more than one service provider (who has no visibility into the data due to encryption). Google won't be among those providers, because it has to see your data to figure out what ads to show you.
The sad thing about this waste of Google's effort and brand is that it's been tried before. Theirs was the vision of Intranets.com, and numerous other players, who blew a ton of venture cap during the dot-com era. Intranets.com was the most successful of the lot, they sold to WebEx last year for $45M. Mind you, they raised $40M and spent six years to get there.
Was the lack of Ajax the reason for all those failures? Or was it user reluctance to hand over their data to a posse of three middlemen (net, ASP, billing) and rent it back from them? Google is going to find out.