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Google Drive Now Offers Degree of Web Hosting Capability

February 12, 2013
by Staff Writer

Google Drive, a component of the cloud-based suite of apps that make up Google Apps and GMail, is now offering a degree of web hosting capability.

Google Drive allows users to create documents and share them with other users. Each document produces a unique URL and it is now possible to "preview" HTML files that are stored in Google Drive. Once the files are made "public", when a file's URL is copied and pasted into a browser, it is now possible for anyone - even those outside the Google structure - to view the file, although linking to the file requires a "webViewLink" code.

The new feature permits JavaScript and graphics to be stored in a Google Drive folder, meaning that coded files can offer similar functionality to pages supported by traditional web hosting. There is some indication that at some stage the feature will be able to manage CSS. Folders containing an index.html file will launch that file as the main page, while folders without an index.html file will display the folder's content in a list. More details on how to publish a folder are available on the Google Developers site.

At present Google has given no indication of any limitations such as limited bandwidth, but the tweak is going to prove a boon to users who wish to publish limited websites such as online resumes.

Google has given no indication just how far they intend to take this service. Although at present it is a very lightweight offering, given the Internet giant's resources, this might prove the first step in a new initiative towards ultimately offering Google Drive as a web hosting platform.

What are the chances? Is this just a tweak or is Google heading into the web hosting arena? Let us know what you think. Add your comments below.

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