Google Drive: Finally coming this April

81 Comments

Google’s(S GOOG) online storage service, rumored to be called GDrive is like the wolf in the fable, The Boy Who Cried Wolf. Well, after long history of false alarms, the storage drive might just see the day in early April, according to my well placed sources familiar with company’s plans. I say might, just because of Google’s history with the Google Drive.

The rumors of Google’s Gdrive first emerged in 2006 and then in 2007 via The Wall Street Journal. Nothing came of those rumors. Two years later, same story, and one more time, nothing came to fruition. In 2010, Google announced that it would allow you to upload documents and files to Google Docs. In February 2012, the rumors started again with another report from The Wall Street Journal.

However, if all goes to plan, this time we might see it for real. I am told the big day is sometime during the first week of April 2012. Google, of course is not talking. A spokesperson sent me the boilerplate — we don’t comment on rumors or speculation.

According to the details from my sources, Google is going to offer 1 Gb of storage space for free, but will charge for more storage. The market leader Dropbox currently offers 2 Gb for free. Google’s product will come with a local client and the web interface will look much like the Google Docs interface. Interestingly, it will launch for Google Apps customers and will be domain specific as well. Google has also built an API for third party apps with this service so folks can store content from other apps in the Google drive. My sources are impressed, so far with what they have seen.

I have watched Google and have been amazed by its inability to launch a cloud storage offering. When I wrote about it earlier this year, many readers weighed in with  smart comments that are worth reading.

81 Comments

Mark Hayes

I would be interested in using it but only if they provided more storage space than what Dropbox currently offers as well as a decent smartphone app

NunjaBusiness

1GB is surely a joke. I have a 50GB lifetime account from box and another 25GB on my SkyDrive (which will certainly grow later.) Word is, SkyDrive will be showing up as a local drive you can just copy to and from in Windows 8 (although that functionality is not in the two betas I am working with.)

jinishans

Folks – This article/news is kind of might be circulated by Google, to set the expectation as minimum, so that when they release it’ll look like big.

I’m sure, they’re going to provide 100GB of space for free, beating everybody on earth, run for money, folks will release it initially as invite basis. It’s the same concept they did with Gmail years back gave away 25Gb when everybody out there was giving 1GB from Hotmail to Lycos to Yahoomail.

I’m sure GDrive will be invite basis giving 100GB for free, making everyone to move everything away from Skydrive, iCloud & Dropbox to GDrive. Yep, you got it, going to take away space from Azure (Skydrive), iCloud (again Azure) & Dropbox (Amazon S3) to Google Space…! All these folks will wait for another 5 yrs and then match it up with GDrive, by that time, it’ll be like Gmail…!

ARMdevices.net

$20/yr for 80GB storage on Google Drive (as can be expected the prices are same as on the rest of Google’s cloud storage).

I think that you only need to pay for the storage of your personal/private/unique/backup files. Google only needs to store one copy of popular/duplicated files, thus you don’t need to pay for storage for it.

I posted in https://plus.google.com/106075758531242552855/posts/cs4sPcT8dCZ how I think Google can deal with providing unlimited free storage for popular content (some can be piracy) on Google Drive:

You get unlimited storage for free for files that a lot of other Google Drive users also store. Thus you should be able to “beam” your collections of Mp3, Flac, DivX, MKV etc to your Google Drive and have them be hosted there for free.

Content owners decide if files can be shared to other users. Sharing may require Google Play Unlimited Subscription (I guess can be something like $20/month) or may require content purchase. Sharing of same Google Drive account for different users/IPs/devices can be very strict to prevent it being used for sharing of pirated content. Content owners are thus invited to upload all their creations on Google Drive and set sharing settings, opting in, opting out, redirecting or linking share attempts to YouTube, Google Music, better digitizations, new revisions etc elsewhere.

I expect Google Drive to provide free storage for tens of Terrabytes of your collections of DivX, MKV, Flac, Mp3, and let you stream your files to any of your devices for free (can be auto down-converted, compressed to work on mobile networks).

What happens is Google quickly stores all the files in the world. They get to store a copy of every video, audio, text file ever digitized throughout the world.

dragonthc

it’s been here for a long time. You’ve been able to purchase additional storage from google for years. It is synchronous across your entire account.

Dave Mackey

It doesn’t matter how much Google gives away free – as long as the paid price is low…and if it is anything like what they have been offering for Picasa storage – it will be very low…

Justin Freid

Google currently sells storage that can be shared across Gmail, Picasa Web Albums, and Google Docs http://j.mp/GUFvbX at 20 GB for $5 a year and you can already access Google Docs via desktop clients like Cyberduck. This announcement will probably be an expansion of this service that’s spread across all Google products. There’ll likely be a price drop, too.

Tim

The reason it’s taken so long is that they’ve needed to finish all their index ingest algorithms for various document types… how else will they get your taxes, finances, legal, and other information ingested into their (now) unified profile of you?

Chris Lee

wow, only one gb still, way to be cool google..micro is at 5gb but im still lovin dropbox

Ace

The real surprise is your negative and sarcastic perspective on a Google product launch.. no one saw that coming.. save perhaps those who hear rhetoric from investors in Google competitors. Bias.

Sunil R

extra 1GB if web history is turned on.. and 1MB for every ad clicked

David Knowles

They will need to provide more than a gigabyte if they are going to impress the market.

ARMdevices.net

I think they provide however much you have for free on your Gmail/Docs/Picasa account today. Basically whatever amount that is, maybe 7GB something like that, you have to share among all your Google services, and you can purchase extra for example $20 per year for 80GB.

Joe Tierney

The big “thing” about this service isn’t storage … there’s plenty of online storage. Box was giving away 25 GB to iPhone and Android users.

The “hook” is the local syncing. Document Management in the cloud is still a relatively immature market. Dropbox only recently released a “business” version, Dropbox for Teams, and Box only offered local syncing on Macs (for paying users) within like the past 12 months and PCs maybe 18 to 24.

Google moves at the speed of the Internet. I think it took them a while to accept the fact that files aren’t going anywhere anytime soon. A Google Doc has more in common with a web site than a Word Document but this isn’t going to click for most people for the foreseeable future. Most businesses do not move at the speed of the Internet and they have files scattered all over the place.

Besides syncing, another great feature that Google can leverage is the Docs Viewer than can be enabled in Gmail and works throughout the current suite. This presents the opportunity for some cool features that could differentiate Drive from other services like Dropbox and Box across many file types.

Google can also differentiate their service on cost – specific to business customers anyway. Box or Dropbox are going to cost ~$15/person per month for the SMB. I think Box and Dropbox are both excellent services that can and will continue to be successful regardless if Google enters their market or not. There are A LOT of file shares and desktops to be emptied!

Bottom line. Customers win. Drive will force the incumbents to be their best and the incumbents will keep Google honest – Drive should be sweet, not just “You need to update Silverlight”

Ben Rowell

Forgive me for passing judgement, but is this not just a little stingy? Especially when you consider the storage space available to GMail users.

Doggzilla

I didn’t see whether GDrive requires a manual upload, or if it mirrors local storage like DropBox. 1G with manual upload is less than worthless.

GDrive should mirror local storage, plus connect to other Google Services, such as Picasa, Docs, and maybe GMail.

dc

April 1st id the best date. Apparently no one else can figure out why. :)

Abhisshek Das

Sundar Pichai must be crying for misguiding Google Management :P

Kevin Darty

I’m going to assume the actual storage is based on your existing Google Storage Plan (which you can add to) and is accompanied by an extra 1GB for FREE as part of this service. That would make sense and of course, it will require a Google Account which includes 7GB (and counting). Not a bad deal if this is the case.

Skippy

Oh good. Now Google can mine your documents to find more ways to blast your with advertising. Buh-bye privacy.

Luke

All these details seem to indicate they are more or less building a local client for Google Docs. Google Docs has 1 GB of free space, ability to upload arbitrary files, an API for uploading files, and a web interface for downloading files as well as previewing a wide assortment of files (videos, music, documents, etc.).

I’m surprised it has taken this long, but equally surprised that I haven’t seen other companies build products using the existing Google Docs API.

For those complaining about the only having 1GB free, it’s worth pointing out that once you pass the free quota for most of these services (Dropbox, etc.) Google Docs is cheaper by a huge margin.

Dropbox: $99 per year – 50GB
Google Docs: $100 per year – 400GB

Paul Jones

Depends if google can offer the same level of drop-dead simple file sync between multiple machines.
There’s a reason Google’s storage is so cheap at the moment: it’s a pain in the ass to actually use it.

★ Denis Florent

Yes, and I’m using it on production on a lot of websites, it’s very very ok.

guest

They offer an S3 clone and there are apps like Syncdocs that make Google Docs work like a drive.

termite

You MIGHT want to put another bolded MIGHT in your headline, considering how many you have in the body.

Amit Agarwal

The date could be 1st April – Google launched Gmail on that day.

Roger Jennings

Microsoft’s SkyDrive offers 25 GB free and works fine for me. One issue is a maximum upload size of 100 MB, which makes it not well suited for bulk backups.

Nader

Who knows. Maybe it will be ever-increasing like Gmail does…

Ralph Jones

How much would you really need? After all the storage you get free from Picasa/Google Photos, Google Music, Google Docs, etc… there’s not much left for which you’d need storage space.

j

Exactly–this offering is for Google users–all of whom already have considerable online storage through other Google services

Ryo

How much? Unlimited! And I mean it. How can a “cloud storage” of the future be not unlimited?

My PC has a 500GB Harddrive. It’s almost filled. I want to have that data in the cloud and go for a 64GB SSD drive. But then I have 6 external drives, hundreds of CDs and Data-DVDs. I want to have all in one place. So at the beginning I would say, I need 8 Terabyte right away. And for the future? Unlimited. Everyday the fricking amount of data is rising. HD, strange file formats that makes a simple “Hello World” Document over 1MB, and my collection of data is growing every day. RAW-format camera. Nice to have Picasa, but if you need to store your real images, it’s 15+MB for a fricking photo. I take hundreds every day. And you know, next-gen device may use double or more data.

Unlimited is the only way to go.

Sathish

Microsoft is cool here, it gives best access to all MS Office applications straight from skydrive

anon

Which sounds better than the 1 gigabit (Gb) that the article states.

Comments are closed.