A startup called Gladinet is announcing version 2.0 of its Cloud Desktop, which lets users access online storage services like Google Docs and Box.net as if they were just another drive on their computer.
Co-founder Jerry Huang said version 2.0 brings the Cloud Desktop closer to his vision of making the online cloud and your personal computer function “as one piece.” For example, you could argue that the ability to upload any file turns Google Docs into an online hard drive, but since I need to open a web browser to access it, it doesn’t feel like the natural extension of my computer. With Gladinet, Google Docs, along with Amazon, Windows Azure, Picasa, and other services, show up as folders within “My Gladinet Drive,” which you can view in the same desktop directory as your hard drive and other devices connected to your computer.
There are also companies like ZumoDrive that provide online storage that’s accessible through your desktop, but they tend to offer their own storage services, rather than providing an interface for a number of other services the way Gladinet does.
As for the new version, features include a new management console that lets users see their file directory, task manager, settings, and more within a single interface; 128-bit encryption; and faster file transfer.
Lake Worth, Fla.-based Gladinet is self-funded. The Cloud Desktop is available in both free and professional versions. Unfortunately, it’s only available on Windows, so Mac owners like me can’t use it.