81 Comments

Summary:

The mythical and much rumored Google’s online storage service, Google Drive, might finally make an appearance in coming weeks according to well placed sources tell us. Google is going to offer 1 Gb of storage space for free, but will charge for more storage.

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Google’s 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.

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  1. One whole gigabyte? Wow!

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

    2. 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.

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

      2. Epubs, PDFs, comic books, video files….

      3. 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.

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

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

  2. Roger Jennings Tuesday, March 27, 2012

    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.

    1. If you read this blog post from Microsoft, you can see that they are planning to increase the file size limit to 2GB via Explorer. http://blogs.msdn.com/b/b8/archive/2012/02/20/connecting-your-apps_2c00_-files_2c00_-pcs-and-devices-to-the-cloud-with-skydrive-and-windows-8.aspx#10270617

    2. William-Robert Kent Cousert Roger Jennings Tuesday, March 27, 2012

      Split your files with WinRAR.

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

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

  5. Raymond Camden Tuesday, March 27, 2012

    Technically Google already does offer Cloud Storage – https://developers.google.com/storage. It’s their clone of Amazon S3.

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

      1. “very very OK” kind of contradicting in a way…

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

  6. 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

    1. insynchq.com is built upon google storage.

    2. 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.

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

  8. 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.

  9. Abhisshek Das Tuesday, March 27, 2012

    Sundar Pichai must be crying for misguiding Google Management :P

  10. Coming April 1st?

    1. Nope, later. Probably next Monday or Tuesday is my best (educated) guess.

      1. 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.

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

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