To follow up on the comparison between Google’s “cloud” offerings and those at Adobe, it’s interesting that Adobe seems to have beaten Google to the punch with its free storage service, SHARE. I’ve been playing around with SHARE (now in beta) and am really impressed with how simple and useful it is. You just point your browser to the SHARE site, browse your hard drive for the file you want to share, upload it, and type in the email addresses of the people you want to share with. They then get an email, and the document becomes available to them on the website. It remains in your library — currently limited to 1gb, though surely that will increase — until you delete it. It also generates a thumbnail of the first page of the file, which can be resized with a slider. You can change the file system from icon mode to hierarchy mode if you want. Right now SHARE works with pdf, jpg, gif, and png files, but presumably that will open up in the future. A close integration between Adobe Buzzword and Adobe SHARE would be ideal. That kind of union, the inclusion of more file formats (not necessarily music and video, but at least .doc, .docx, .odf, .rtf, etc.), and a much larger allotment of space would make SHARE super useful. Like Buzzword the interface shows close attention to design and usage. To my mind Adobe is quickly passing Google in both the beauty and usefulness of its online apps.
PS The people you share files with stay in your contact list, which is invaluable if you are regularly sharing files with a particular colleague or group of colleagues. As I think about it, here are a few more desiderata:
- A comments section, for both public and private comments.
- Support for Photoshop, InDesign, etc. file formats, and (as already suggested) direct integration with Buzzword for all text documents.
- Blog support, perhaps through Buzzword, which has already been tagged as a potentially game-changing blog editor. I should be able to link to a document on SHARE from my blog.