cloud Stories June 13, 2016

google-springboard

Over the past few months, Google has rolled out several new features powered by machine learning. Announced at an enterprise event today, Google Springboard allows users to search through Google Apps and acts as a day-to-day work assistant, providing “useful and actionable information and recommendations.” The company also announced a major revamp to Google Sites.

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cloud Stories April 4, 2016

Google Drive down for some users this morning, fix incoming

Google Drive is experiencing down time for some users this morning, Google has confirmed on its app status page that tracks service disruptions and outages for the company’s various web services.

cloud Stories March 16, 2016

icloud Google Cloud Platform

According to CRN and other sources, iCloud will soon be partially powered by the Google Cloud Platform by way of a deal that could also be used as leverage to cut its cloud costs with Amazon and Microsoft. Such a move is a big win for Google’s burgeoning cloud enterprise business.

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cloud Stories February 23, 2016

Spotify transitioning to Google’s Cloud Platform to power their music backend

Spotify has announced that it is moving its music streaming backend to the Google Cloud Platform. The gigantic task will take place over the coming weeks and months and hopefully should not result in any service disruptions for users. For Google, the move is a clear win for their burgeoning cloud business.

cloud Stories January 4, 2016

SEC filing: Google paid $380 million for Bebop and Diane Greene

In November of last year, Google announced they were combining their various cloud and enterprise products into one team headed by Diane Greene, the co-founder of VMWare. Greene was brought over after Google purchased her cloud platform startup Bebop for $380 million, as revealed in an SEC filing today.

cloud Stories November 18, 2015

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Google over the past several months has spoken a lot about its ever-growing cloud business. It recently dropped prices across the board for its Cloud Platform, and now one Google executive believes the business will soon grow to outpace revenue brought in by the company’s ad division…

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cloud Stories November 2, 2015

robin-lead

Nextbit’s Robin is a new smartphone that’s primary goal is to eliminate the lack of smartphone storage. Robin uses the cloud and intelligently archives stuff you don’t use or need often, while backing it up to the cloud. Recently, we took a trip to Nextbit HQ for a closer look at Robin and to see what it’s all about…

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cloud Stories May 18, 2015

Google Cloud Platform

Google has today announced big price drops for all Google Compute Engine Instance types, following the Moore’s law pricing philosophy that the company committed to last year. Effective today, the prices of virtual machines through Google Cloud Platform are dropping up to 30%, and Google is also introducing a new class of preemptible virtual machines that could bring prices even lower in some cases…

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cloud Stories May 12, 2015

Greenpeace-clicking-clean-May-2015

Greenpeace today released an update to its “Clicking Clean: A Guide to Building the Green Internet” report, and while Apple continues to lead for renewable energy efforts, Google once again increases its score thanks to new initiatives. expand full story

cloud Stories October 27, 2014

Microsoft OneDrive

Microsoft on Monday announced that it will be eliminating its top-tier cloud storage plan and offering unlimited cloud storage to Office 365 subscribers at no additional cost. The change will begin rolling out today for Office 365 Home, Personal and University customers and will continue over the coming months. expand full story

cloud Stories August 20, 2014

Online backup service Backblaze launches its first Android app

There’s some good news for Backblaze and Android users this morning: a fresh, new app called Backblaze Mobile. The unlimited online backup service for Mac and PC is out today with its first Android client for Backblaze users.

While the app doesn’t allow you to upload and save files from your Android device, Backblaze for Android does allow you to view and download saved files from your computer right on your Android device. This means Android users subscribed to Backblaze can browse files backed up from their PC or Mac for viewing, sharing, and opening in Android apps on-the-go. Backblaze for Android supports downloading files up to 30MB in size at the time of launch, so you won’t be able to access massive, gigabyte files to your device just yet.

Backblaze users running Ice Cream Sandwich or later can grab Backblaze Mobile for Android on the Google Play Store for free (the service is $5/month). You can read more about the new app from Backblaze here.

cloud Stories June 23, 2014

 

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Microsoft is making notable improvements to its storage offerings for its OneDrive cloud-based service. The company is announcing today that OneDrive storage at the free tier will be more than doubled, Office 365 storage will see a major increase, and that there will be storage price drops across the board. Here are the three main announcements in more detail:

  • Currently, OneDrive’s free tier includes 7GB of storage. This storage is accessible via the OneDrive apps on iOS, Android, Windows, and on the web, and much like Dropbox and the upcoming iCloud Drive, it can store files of all kinds. Now, this 7GB is moving to 15GB. Microsoft says it is making the switch to 15GB now that people store more files in the cloud and now that images and videos taken on smartphones consume much more space.
  • A bigger shift is occurring on the Office 365 storage side. That service is moving from 20GB of storage to 1TB of storage per user. This 1TB tier costs the same $6.99 per month for an individual user or $9.99 for a 5 person family plan (which still provides 1TB per family member). This move from 20GB to 1TB is a significant boost, but it’s unlikely that most people even have ~1000GB worth of Office files to store. Office 365 keeps Word, PowerPoint, and Excel documents in sync between the iPhone, iPad, Android, Windows, and web Office apps.
  • For those customers who do not want an Office 365 subscription at the aforementioned prices, users can now tack on additional storage to a OneDrive account in increments of 100GB or 200GB. 100GB is $1.99/month and 200GB is $3.99/month. The change here is price decreases: 100GB used to cost $7.49 per month and 200GB previously was $11.49 each month.

These price changes automatically go into effect today for current users. The shift is notable because OneDrive’s free storage tier now matches Google’s 15GB Google Drive and other cloud services. OneDrive’s 100GB storage plan also now matches Google’s at $1.99 per month. Google also offers much larger storage plans than Microsoft, which can be seen below:

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cloud Stories May 29, 2014

Google launches cloud-based email migration to Google Apps, contacts & calendar on the way

Google announced on its Google Apps Updates blog today that cloud-based email migration for Google Apps is being rolled out over the course of the next 2 weeks, making it much easier for businesses to move from their own mail servers to Google’s Gmail servers.

Starting this week, we are making it easier for businesses to migrate email into Google Apps using our cloud-based data migration service. The data migration service can be configured via the Admin console to connect to your mail server and migrate email over to Google’s Gmail servers.

Notably, this means that those wishing to migrate no longer need to download migration tools and install them on local servers, moving the process entirely to the cloud. Google says that currently this service is only for mail, but that support for calendar and contact migration is in the works.

A support page for the service is also now online if you’re looking for more information.

cloud Stories December 4, 2013

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This isn’t by any means the first time we’ve seen a cloud storage provider offer up a special offer, in fact it seems like the cool thing to do these days. With that in mind, it’s worth noting that Amazon is throwing its hat into the proverbial free cloud storage offer with 50GB of storage with the purchase of over 100 carrier-branded Android smartphones.

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cloud Stories June 19, 2013

happy-retirement-gr

Following Google’s announcement that its RSS Reader product would be retired on July 1st, apps like Feedly that relied on the Google Reader backend announced big plans to help itself and other apps through the transition. Feedly has been preparing its move to its own “feedly cloud” back end since the announcement, and earlier this month transitioned its own iOS client to the platform. Today, Feedly is officially launching the new back end and API, as well as a brand new web interface and the first apps to integrate the feedly cloud platform:

As of today, feedly cloud is now live, providing a fast and scalable infrastructure that serves as the backbone to feedly, as well as a number of connected applications. Feedly cloud is open today to all users visiting http://feedly.com, providing a simple one-click migration path from Google Reader.  And thanks to the great developer community that has gathered around it, providing multiple safe and sound alternatives to Google Reader.  With the release of feedly cloud, feedly today transitions from a product to a platform. We are also today delivering a new, completely stand-alone Web version of feedly.

On top of the new API and feedly cloud back end, the company is also delivering on one of the most requested features for the service: a standalone new web interface that doesn’t require any plugins or browser extensions. expand full story

cloud Stories May 10, 2013

Update (3:24 ET): I’m back online. are you?

If you are having issues with Google Drive, you aren’t alone. We’ve just lost our access to our online documents though our local sync seems to be working fine. Google’s Apps status page just went code orange indicating they are investigating the issue. Now let’s start talking about how safe your documents are in the Cloud.

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cloud Stories April 17, 2012

Google praised in Greenpeace’s clean cloud data center report

While Greenpeace’s “How Clean is Your Cloud” report had not so great things to say about Apple, Amazon, and Microsoft’s use of coal energy in their data centers, Google was praised for its “comprehensive energy reduction plan”. The organization is urging consumers to contact the companies to convince them to change their approach to powering the cloud and read the 50-page report to learn more.

“Google has been the most open in the industry about the importance of increasing not only energy efficiency within the sector, but also the need to move our energy sources to renewable energy… Google has a comprehensive energy reduction plan that has resulted in its data centers using half the energy of the industry standard… Google’s commitment to using renewable energy as much as possible has set the bar for the industry.”

cloud Stories March 27, 2012

The Cloud storage Google Drive has been an on-again, off-again rumor for years.

Today, GigaOm’s Om Malik says Google Drive will release to the public in the first week in April.

I am told the big day is sometime during the first week of April 2012…Google is going to offer 1 Gb of storage space for free, but will charge for more storage. The market leader Dropbox currently offers 2 Gb for free. Google’s product will come with a local client and the web interface will look much like the Google Docs interface. Interestingly, it will launch for Google Apps customers and will be domain specific as well. Google has also built an API for third party apps with this service so folks can store content from other apps in the Google drive. My sources are impressed, so far with what they have seen.

This could be the last piece of the Cloud puzzle. expand full story

cloud Stories November 21, 2011

Just in time for the holidays, Google has announced a price drop for both the Samsung Series 5 and Acer AC700 Chromebooks. Both are now being dropped to $299 from $349, which still seems a little steep for what you’re getting. So why the price drop? Most likely Google isn’t seeing the type of sales they were looking for with Chrome OS and hope sales will help boost that.

Shouldn’t Google be going a little lower in price with these?

 

cloud Stories September 7, 2011

Google has just published a study entitled “Google’s Green Computing: Efficiency at Scale” comparing traditional business email solutions with Gmail. The results? Gmail is “almost 80 times” more energy efficient than conventional in-house software. This takes into account all Google infrastructure necessary to support the service.

A report from the Official Google Blog explains:

“…cloud-based services are typically housed in highly efficient data centers that operate at higher server utilization rates and use hardware and software that’s built specifically for the services they provide—conditions that small businesses are rarely able to create on their own.”

To help put it all in perspective (kind of), Google offers the comparison presented in the graphic below showing one year of Gmail is comparable to drinking a bottle of wine, stuffing a letter inside, and throwing it in the ocean. Google also put YouTube to the test and discovered that 1 minute of video consumes approximately 0.0002 kWh of energy. Thus, 72 hours of video would be equivalent to one packaged and delivered DVD.  expand full story

cloud Stories September 1, 2011

Announced by the company in a blog post, Google is now partnering with FedEx to offer Google Docs uploading inside of Print Online. Print Online is FedEx’s service that allows users to upload documents to be printed at a local FedEx stores for pickup. But what happens when you write your documents inside of Google Docs, and not Pages or Word? With the companies new partnership, you will now be able to upload files directly into Print Online from the cloud.

Tuesday, Google also announced in a blog post that support for one click Cloud Print has been added — along with the ability to add page numbers. As you can see in the screenshot after the break, Cloud Print is easy — with just one click you can print to any printer (as long as its setup) from any device or OS. The Cloud Print feature is currently available only in documents and spreadsheets. Furthermore, the new page numbers feature is a must for those of us who use the MLA format on a daily basis. The ability to add page numbers is definitely a feature Docs has been lacking..

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If you believe the rumors, Google’s been working on a cloud-based drive for your computer since 2005. Code-named “Platypus” and also known as GDrive, it was supposed to arrive long ago, as I wrote over at TG Daily in January 2009. Today’s article by TechCrunch asserts that the search company may be close to launching Gdrive, based on code hooks discovered in Chrome that point to the drive.google.com URL:

Diving a bit deeper into the code reviews, what’s most striking is that drive.google.com doesn’t appear to be referenced anywhere besides this one exposed ticket. This suggests that it’s either no big deal, or that Google is keeping this very secret.

TechCrunch also reminds us of Steven Levy’s book “In The Plex” which describes how Google+ lead Bradley Horowitz “convinced Google’s top executives not to launch” Gdrive back in 2008 because he felt “the concept of a ‘file’ was outdated”.

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cloud Stories June 7, 2011

With all three players having introduced their respective music lockers in the skies, we can now pit their respective offerings against each other. The above chart is from paidContent which opined that “Apple doesn’t always get it right the first time” before observing that in iTunes “syncing should be faster and easier” while “song quality may get a boost”.

Apple yesterday took the wraps off iTunes Match, a new feature that scans all your music (regardless of sources) to make matching songs instantly available using iCloud. “With 18 million songs we’re most likely to have what you got”, Jobs said at yesterday’s unveiling. He noted that Apple will automatically upgrade all matching songs to 256Kbps AAC. On the downside, you cannot stream songs with iCloud – yeah, you read that right. What that means is you have to download each iCloud song that is not saved on your iOS device before you can listen to it. What else should you know?

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