The search engine titans are at war again, but this time the battlefield is not about the quality of their results or the size of their databases, but rather, free storage space for their users.
We reported recently on Google’s plans with GDrive, which in its simplest form is a virtual hard drive with unlimited storage space for users, hosted on Google servers. Now Microsoft has entered the arena with suggestions of “Live Drive”, GDrive’s arch nemesis.
So why are the search engines so keen to provide storage space for their users?
It all comes down to providing an all-in-one online solution. Considering the significant amount of effort being placed on developing online software and services outside of their search engines (e.g. Google Pack and Microsoft’s array of online services), storage is the logical next step in completing the package.
From a user’s point of view, the ideal scenario would be having access to all your necessary productivity tools online and centrally available. The future of business according to Microsoft would probably involve users having a mobile phone or portable PC and their office would be the internet, with everything from word processors and spreadsheet software to email and storage all hosted online and available from anywhere.
“Microsoft is planning to use its server farms to offer anyone huge amounts of online storage of digital data…With Live Drive, all your information-movies, music, tax information, a high-definition videoconference you had with your grandmother, whatever-could be accessible from anywhere, on any device.” said Ray Ozzie, Microsoft’s Chief Technology Officer in Fortune Magazine.
Considering both Google and MSN have more than enough excess storage capacity, this war won’t be a case of whose is biggest, but rather who is quicker to provide the complete online solution, and considering they’re rapidly approaching the finishing line…stay tuned to find out who wins.
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