Easing privacy concerns will be a hurdle for Google’s web-based storage service

If you thought Google wasn't really serious about taking on Microsoft for world domination, you might want to start accepting it.

Today's Wall Street Journal revealed game-changing plans by Google to launch the on-demand model to trump all other on-demand models. That's right, the mighty company from Mountain View, Calif. is close to unveiling a service that would provide internet-based storage for all of the stuff that users normally put on their hard drives, such as word-processing documents, spreadsheets, images and music.

Google would take control and permit users the ability to access and download these password-protected files through their internet browser instead of their desktop. This fundamental shift in the way we store our information likely would mean a huge cost savings for businesses, which could practically close down their data centers in place of this revolutionary, in-the-cloud model.

Of course, there's a big difference between a vendor who is providing you with a piece of software and a vendor responsible for storing (and protecting) kilobytes upon kilobytes of sensitive data. Privacy and performance issues are sure to arise. I would reason to guess that more than a few businesses might be reluctant to pass control of their information off to anyone, including an established, security-minded company such as Google.

"It is certainly approached with the utmost sensitivity on our end," a Google spokeswoman told the Journal. "We have extensive safeguards in place currently to protect our user data and we have a very strong track record in this regard."

We will see. And I'm guessing Microsoft won't go down without a fight. They surely will use the privacy/security angle as a way to discourage any potential defectors.

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