Just as Microsoft revolutionised the way we deal with email communication by giving us the free web-based email service Hotmail, the search engine giant Google is set to revolutionise the way we use our desktop machines in everyday situations with GDrive. So what effect will this change have on the communications industry and the way we market online? After years of speculation about its development, recent press releases suggest that Google are gearing up to release a new service that may change the way we work with computers. Called GDrive, the service proposes to give any recent web enabled device (mobile phone, PDA, game console, etc) the power to perform the tasks of a PC by essentially outsourcing any of the processing to giant supercomputers licensed under Google.

The concept of cloud computing dates back to the very first computers, long before the PC (personal computer). A mainframe computer would usually reside in one room/floor of the office building, while users would tap into the mainframe’s ‘brain’ through ‘dumb’ terminals.

Ultimately this means that there will no longer be a reliance on desktop computers for people to carry out their daily work activities, just ‘dumb’ devices that we will perhaps carry with us like a mobile phone. With the majority of future devices going live, this would open a channel of communication to a whole new audience who traditionally, would not do their purchase research or shopping online.

As is the case with all digital communications, information transfers can be monitored and recorded, giving us a wealth of information to build consumer profiles allowing us to better understand the habits of consumers. This should result in far more potent and highly targeted marketing communications than the current ‘shot gun’ mass media approach.

One thing is for certain, Google understand the potential of online advertising, after all it has been their bread and butter for many years. No doubt they are working on developing systems to allow paid advertisers direct access to the pockets of the consumers who have a need for their product or service.