Google and Microsoft Oct. 26 made key moves to their messaging and collaboration applications in the name of data portability. Google has begun allowing users to export multiple Google Docs at the same time. Microsoft released documentation for the .pst file format for its Microsoft Office Outlook e-mail application. Google said such features are geared to let users control their data, whether they choose to house it in Google's cloud computing environment, or move it elsewhere. Paul Lorimer, group manager for Microsoft Office Interoperability, said Microsoft wants to make .pst files actionable for programmers using messaging applications other than Outlook.
Google and Microsoft Oct. 26 made key moves to their
messaging and collaboration applications in the name of data portability, the increasingly
popular trend of letting users move content created in specific applications outside
Following its pledge to let users shuttle their Google
data from one repository to another, Google has begun allowing users to
export multiple Google Docs at the same time. Microsoft meanwhile
documentation for the .pst file format for its Microsoft Office Outlook
Power users of Google Docs may want to take dozens,
hundreds or even thousands of files from Google Docs from Google Apps and move
them to another repository. But these users don't have the time to move each
document piecemeal. The "Convert, Zip and Download" Docs batch export
utility lets Google Docs users select multiple files and then click on
"Export" from the "More Actions" menu in Docs.
Users then pick the format they desire -- Microsoft Word,
PDF, etc. -- for the files they want to export. To complete the task and
receive a zip file with all of their Docs, users simply click "Continue."
Because it can take several minutes to export large
amounts of files, the Google Docs team added an "E-mail when ready"
option that sends users a link when the zip file is ready. Currently, Google
said users can export up to 500 megabytes of content in a single zip file. That
covers some 20,000 typical files, give or take.
The Docs team, which
a major refresh earlier this month, including multi-file upload, also
added indicators on whether they've "viewed" an item or not.
"Unviewed" files are in bold, while
"viewed" files are not. A "New!" indicator is displayed
when items are initially shared to users. When an item is first shared, it will
be bold and marked as "New!". Once that item has been viewed it will
be listed normally, said
Google Docs Product Manager Vijay Bangaru.
Google is billing its "Convert, Zip and
Download" utility as the "first major offensive on the Data
Liberation Front," a group of Google engineers that
consumers how they can move data into and out of Google applications.