Google Drivageddon and Docsapocalypse are here: Why I’m typing this in Microsoft Word

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Credit: John Brandon

What happens when you put all of your eggs in one basket.

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The world is spinning out of control. The moon has turned blood red. The realm of time immortal has come unhinged from the Earth and all existence. Oh, and someone at Google is about to get fired.

I never thought this day would come. I’ve been using Google Drive and all of the productivity apps in the Chrome browser for several years now (ever since they added a good spell-checker). Today, I tried to load up one of my documents from “the cloud” on Google Drive and noticed the spinning orb you see above. It’s not just frustrating or mildly irritating. It’s a panic. I write for a living, so not being able to A) access any of my documents online or b) use a word processor are mission critical issues for me.

Google announced the outage on their official update page. It almost seems like they view this as a minor issue. It's not so minor.

This is extremely poor timing considering Microsoft just released Word 2016 about a week ago. The desktop application has powerful features for conducting research, correcting grammar, letting coworkers collaborate on a document in real-time, and it’s incredibly fast. Oh, and it also works. I have some of my documents in a backup saved to a hard drive, which is a good thing.

What’s not a good thing? Having a total lack of control over the situation. None.

I could complain to Google about how they are not letting me access all 650 documents in Drive. I could complain that my most used app is not available. It won’t do any good. They are working on the problem. While Drive and Docs (and Sheets and Slides) may come back online by the time I finish this sentence, at least for right now, my primary tools of productivity are AWOL.

We should not blame the cloud as a concept, but we can blame the cloud as a functional necessity. What I mean by that – the cloud makes perfect sense. As soon as Docs is back, I will switch over and stay there. The problem is that it has to function all the time. If it stays down for more than an hour, I won’t be able to continue working. Suddenly, this Dell XPS 15 laptop will become a place to set my coffee.

My wake-up call: It’s time to save every doc, not just a few. It’s time to make sure I have a good cloud option for word processing (I will get back to you on that one). It’s time to not put every egg in the Google basket. I need a few in the Microsoft basket at least, and maybe even consider Yahoo again.

No, I won’t go that far.

How about you? Share your Google Drive and Docs horror story in comments.

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