Google Groups, whether useful or spamful has been used extensively by organizations for their internal communication. Even at our institute, loads of study material is shared on Google Groups and accessing it becomes easy and handy for all of us. Facilities like these have made a large number of people to turn to Google Groups to share content amongst groups.
However, if you have recently tried to make a new page in Google Groups, you might have seen the notice about files and pages that appears before you are allowed to proceed. The exact terms of the announcement stand as:
Starting in November 2010, Groups will no longer allow the creation or editing of files and pages; the content will only be available for viewing, and only existing files will be able to be downloaded. If you would like to keep the content currently on the pages and files sections of your group, we highly encourage you to export and migrate it to another product. In February 2011, we will turn off the pages and files features, and you will no longer be able to access that content.
In short, Google is forcing people to use its storage services like Google Docs to upload and maintain files online. The idea is clarified here:
We have decided to stop supporting the pages and files features. Even though we know discontinuing these features may inconvenience some of you in the short term, we believe that this move will improve your experience storing and sharing files as other products, such as Google Docs and Google Sites, are designed specifically for file storage and page creation.
This is a move by Google where it has made two things clear:
- Google has a kill switch to all its free services.
- Google wants us to use its services seriously and not find hacks and workarounds to use them in our desired way.
Bruce Eckel was prompt enough to notice this and write on it. Read his views here.