Users of GoogleDocs will soon have reason to celebrate. Google this week announced in a blog post that its free online document collaboration platform will soon store files of all file types, rather than just those it can edit (plus PDFs).
To understand the significance of this news, you'll first need to know a little about GoogleDocs (current users can skip to the next paragraph). If you're doing any document collaboration at all, you know that version control is the key. For example, let's say I create a Word doc and send it via email to Moe. He makes his changes and sends a new document to Larry, who approves Moe's edits and sends his tweaked version to Curly for final approval. But Curly wants to change something I did. So he sends his copy (now the third version of the file) to me for revisions. I then create a fourth version. With GoogleDocs, I simply upload the Word doc into the system (or create it online using the GoogleDocs browser-based word processor). That becomes the one and only copy of the file that everyone can see and edit simultaneously. All previous versions are stored automatically and can be viewed, copied or reverted to. Changes by multiple people toGoogleDocs appear in real time. It's quite marvelous. And it's even more useful if you're also using Gmail.
Until now, editable document types had been limited to text, spreadsheets and presentations. The free service permits storage of up to 1 GB, numerous new file types (up to 250MB per file), contents of which are searchable and many of which can also be viewed. No more e-mailing yourself files to work on at home or on the road. And everything is backed up for you. You may never store data on your own hard drive again!