Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Google Cloud Connect - Cloud Computing in Action

In my last two posts I had discussed Google Cloud Print and Amazon Cloud Drive and Player. Both are the example of Cloud Computing in Action. After launching Google Cloud Print, Google has come up with another innovative idea for implementation of Cloud Computing. It is Google Cloud Connect. This is a service by which one can save his office documents on the cloud and sync them at anytime with your system documents. The documents can be Word, Excel or PowerPoint. This really spice up the Cloud Computing Applications and has broken the boundaries between the products of rivals ! Google Cloud Computing is a perfect example for this as Google has build a service over its cloud which is supporting Microsoft Office product documents !!! Lets see what the other competitors respond to it - especially Microsoft. :)  And as always this feature from Google is FREE of cost. Looking carefully one would find that this is a step ahead of the previous Google offering: Google Docs.

Available for free download, the toolbar enables users to directly save their MS Office work into Google's server farms located all over the world, from any device. Google's strategy to embed its apps inside MS Office suite, which forms almost a third of its $62 billion annual sales will be a direct hit into Microsoft's prime bread source after Windows, if successful. Once logged in to a Google account, the toolbar automatically keeps saving any document being currently worked upon on to a Google server farm. The catch is that your PC should once in a while be connected to the internet, to get it synced with the cloud.

Now let us see how to install Google Cloud Connect. What we need to do is to download the installer of Google Cloud Connect on our system.

Once installed it will give a new toolbox in the Office application. Whenever we want to sync to the cloud our document just click on the toolbox Sync option and the document will be updated. Also we get the feature in which we can update our document in the offline edit mode, and whenever we get online the document will be updated on the cloud. So we can also work in offline edit mode.

Let us understand how Google Cloud Connect works. Google cloud Connect tracks, manages and syncs all changes on your Microsoft Office documents into one updated version for each document. Each document that you sync through Google Cloud Connect gets a unique URL, or web address, that you can share with collaborators through IM or email. Depending on the privacy setting you’ve selected for the document, other people will be able to click this link and view the document in the browser. Google Cloud Connect for Microsoft Office lets you easily share documents with other people. When you add someone as an editor in a document, they receive an e-mail letting them know that a document has been shared with them. From there, they can open a link to view the document in the browser, or if they want to make edits, they can download the document and open it in Microsoft Office. When another editor edits a document in Microsoft Office, all changes get synced to and will be reflected on your screen.

The following video explains how the Google Cloud Connect works:

Google Cloud Connect works for Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, and Excel files for users of Microsoft Office 2003, 2007, and 2010. It supports Windows XP, Windows Vista, and Windows 7. It is currently not available for Macs. Also only Microsoft Office has been targeted as it has around 90% of the market. In future OpenOffice will also be included in the Google Cloud Connect. Also a version for Macs is expected to be out by the year 2011 end.

System requirements and supported file types

Google Cloud Connect for Microsoft Office works on the following operating systems. It is not available for Macs. Following are the version of Windows supported:

  •     Windows 7 (32 and 64 bit)
  •     Windows Vista (32 and 64 bit)
  •     Windows XP with .NET Framework 2.0

Google Cloud Connect works with Microsoft® Office 2003, 2007, and 2010. It supports syncing with the following Microsoft Office file types:

   Word file types:
  •         .DOC - Word 97-2003 document
  •         .DOCX - Word 2007 or 2010 document
  •         .DOTX - Word 2007 or 2010 template
  •         .DOCM - Word 2007 or 2010 macro-enabled document

    Excel® file types:
  •         .XLS - Excel 97-2003 spreadsheet
  •         .XLT - Excel 97-2003 template
  •         .XLSX - Excel 2007 or 2010 workbook
  •         .XLSM - Excel 2007 or 2010 macro-enabled workbook

    PowerPoint® file types:
  •         .PPT - PowerPoint 97-2003 presentation
  •         .POT - PowerPoint 97-2003 template
  •         .PPS - PowerPoint 97-2003 show
  •         .PPTX - PowerPoint 2007 or 2010 presentation
  •         .POTX - PowerPoint 2007 or 2010 template
  •         .PPSX - PowerPoint 2007 or 2010 show
  •         .PPTM - PowerPoint 2007 or 2010 macro-enabled presentation
  •         .POTM - PowerPoint 2007 or 2010 macro-enabled template

Some of these file types are not supported by the Google Docs Viewer, so you might not be able to preview the doc. If you try to do so, you'll see a message that no preview is available. Even if a document can't be previewed, it will still sync as expected. Also note that the above file types are supported for files up to 50MB. Larger files are not currently supported.

Following video explains how to sync the document from the Cloud using Google Cloud Connect:

Further Readings

Download the Google Cloud Connect Microsoft Plugin here.
For more on the Google Cloud Connect read this article.
For more on Google Cloud Connect, Google Docs and related FAQ refer the Google Help.


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