Memeo Connect brings Google-hosted cloud storage to desktops

Memeo Connect 2.0 with addition of GDrive provides a seamless link between PC-based computing and Web-based computing

Demonstrating a seemingly small yet important evolutionary step from today's predominantly desktop-bound world of apps and storage to tomorrow's work of cloud-based IT services, Google partner Memeo has unveiled an intriguing upgrade to its Memeo Connect app: the capability for users to seamlessly save files to a hosted hard drive with the same ease that they can save files to a local drive or to an organization's storage network.

With Memeo Connect 2.0, end-users have access to a logical drive, dubbed the GDrive, that integrates with a computer's file system. Though it's effectively a virtual hard drive residing in the cloud, hosted by Google, the GDrive looks and functions exactly like any drive a user would access on his or her machine: It can store any type of file, including executables. It has a clickable icon that can be opened to view contents. Users can drag and drop files to and from the GDrive for copying, or save files to it directly from any application. 

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More interesting still, the GDrive integrates with an end-user's Google Docs account, which means when a users logs in to his or her Google account, he or she can view files and open them with any compatible Web-based app. Notably, Google is continually rolling out more and more enterprise-oriented apps in its App Marketplace that also integrate with Google Docs.

This tight integration between the desktop and the cloud is what makes Memeo Connect 2.0 particularly intriguing to me: It represents a logical and necessary link between the desktop and the cloud, in which users can easily open, share, and modify a single file in and among any number of apps, regardless of where those apps reside. That approach is more natural and less time-consuming than the process of uploading and downloading files between desktop and hosted app (or apps), relying on a third app or widget (as was the case with the Version 1.0 of Memeo Connect). 

Also worth noticing: Version 2.0 adds an enhanced search feature, allowing users to search the file names and content of hosted docs. Again, the goal of cloud computing should be to provide end-users with a familiar desktop-like experience -- and the ability to search for content is necessary. 

I'm certainly not suggesting that a tool like Memeo Connect is going to prove the deciding factor for businesses contemplating a move from desktop apps to Web apps. Notably, though, the tool (which might seem entirely consumer-oriented at first blush) already has a business following, at least according to Spencer Chen, director of strategy and business development at Memeo. Chen told TechCrunch that businesses are deploying Connect and that the average company using the product has 10,000 employees. Chen also said that 40 percent of Google's top enterprise clients are testing or deploying the client.

Rather, like Google and Microsoft who have brought Web apps to the table, and like IBM who is bringing increased security to the space, Memeo is adding an important storage component to the mix that should help further bolster the appeal of desktop computing in the cloud.

Memeo, by the way, is soliciting sign-ups for a free beta program of Memeo Connect 2.0.

This article, "Memeo Connect brings Google-hosted cloud storage to desktops," was originally published at InfoWorld.com. Get the first word on what the important tech news really means with the InfoWorld Tech Watch blog.

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