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.

  1. One whole gigabyte? Wow!

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

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    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.

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

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

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      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.

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

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

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  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.

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    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

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

      Split your files with WinRAR.

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

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

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  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.

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    1. ★ Denis Florent Tuesday, March 27, 2012

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

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

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

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  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

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    1. insynchq.com is built upon google storage.

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    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.

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

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  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.

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  9. Abhisshek Das Tuesday, March 27, 2012

    Sundar Pichai must be crying for misguiding Google Management :P

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  10. Coming April 1st?

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

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      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.

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

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

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  12. 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”

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    1. Well said sir. Thank you for an educational comment.

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  13. David Knowles Tuesday, March 27, 2012

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

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    1. Agreed. I think they should start with 5 gb. That should get things going well..

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      1. ARMdevices.net Tuesday, March 27, 2012

        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.

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

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    1. Lol….

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  15. 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.

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    1. Ace,

      If being realistic is sarcastic and negative, guilty as charged.

      Thanks for your comment.

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  16. April Fools…

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  17. .

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

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  19. 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?

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  20. 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.

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  21. Google does it again. Something everyone can benefit from.

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  22. 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…

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  23. Docs offers 1 gb already.It makes no sense.

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  24. 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.

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  25. ARMdevices.net Tuesday, March 27, 2012

    $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.

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  26. Early setup for April fools?

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  27. widodo santoso Tuesday, March 27, 2012

    if its free, i am in..

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  28. 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…!

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  29. NunjaBusiness Tuesday, March 27, 2012

    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.)

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  30. 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

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  31. if it is online storage by google who happens to offer dozen of other services like picasa, gmail, docs, etc. why dont they make the gdrive one unified storage for all my files located across all google services (except youtube i guess) and give it 10gb free space?(which it already does but in forms of sepaeate storage on each separate service)
    1gb is lame dude

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    1. NunjaBusiness Tuesday, March 27, 2012

      My point is, 10GB is lame too. As they say on the reality shows – “Time to up your game.” If I can get 50GB for free from someone else, you will need to offer me 75-100 to get my interest. And you’d better offer full API access to it so we can make money selling apps that utilize it.

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  32. Does this mean they’re gonna whack Picasaweb and Google Docs? I already HAVE photos and docs stored online–isn’t this what Platypus, er, gDrive, er, Google Drive is for? I’m confoozed.

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  33. just joke

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  34. Great news. It sounds amazing 1 Gb of storage space for free.

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  35. Will GDrive be able to emulate the success of GMail, only time will tell

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  36. Two questions:
    1. Why can’t Google Docs be considered a cloud storage (ref to your statement: inability to launch a cloud storage)
    2. Why not compare to SkyDrive that offers a whopping 25 GB free storage (market leader Dropbox currently offers 2 Gb for free)

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  37. About 2 months back also there was news about Google drive (http://bit.ly/HbXDna) and now again, It’s been a long wait. All this time I was hunting for some tools for cloud storage and found CollateBox http://www.collatebox.com/ went through their recent video,http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1KruqWWiw1s.

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  38. Google Drives should start with at least 50 gigs, and no file size limits. Key would be to have it supported on mainstream mobile apps, the way Box.com and Dropbox are. Synching too.

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  39. Google Drive starting quota should be 50 gigs minimum, with no limits on individual file sizes. The system should be able to automatically store multimedia on streaming servers (YouTube) for optimum delivery. Like Box.com and Dropbox, Google Drive needs to be ubiquitously supported by all mainstream mobile apps. Synching, of course, is a must as well.

    Are we there yet?

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  40. I paid $20 for 80gb of Google disk space that is shared with my Google Docs and Gmail. My biggest complaint is that I have to upload and download files rather than just mount the drive as G. I am eagerly awaiting the update!

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  41. Google’s next attempt on privacy-hacking user’s data? Just 1 GB of the most important files one person would like to ‘secure’?

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  42. I can’t understand why more people are not using SkyDrive. The new LiveMesh sync tool is excellent – especially if you use Onenote a lot like I do. The only drawback is Mesh only gives you 5GB that can be synced. The other 20 or so is regular SkyDrive. But who needs more than 25GB – kind of reminds me of who needs more than 640k

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  43. Horizon Inspirasi Wednesday, March 28, 2012

    can we host cms on it ? :-)

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  44. April Fools? Early?

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  45. I use GotABackup.com. Unlimited storage space and very good price!

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  46. Vaporware (cough cough). SkyDrive gives me 25gb- why do I want this?

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  47. Oh darn, thought by the title it might be the car that drives. I could care less about storage.

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  48. 1 GB free and $5 per 20GB? that’s absolutely cheap!

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  49. As a project manager and someone who’s heavily involved in project management, I can spot a failed project a mile away. When a company postpones a project year after year and every other year claims that the project is about to be launched, then the project will eventually flop.

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  50. common 1gb is free but 20GB is 5-10 dolar a year. so it is much more cheaper than any cloud service.

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  51. WOW great news for storage users!!!

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  52. Try to access drive.google.com using chrome browser (with google docs extension installed) when you are offline.

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  53. Jeffrey Lovell Wednesday, April 11, 2012

    Any update on this story? The first week of April has come and gone. Would love to use GDrive, but not real wild about Google Docs. Needs to work more like DropBox, but tie in with Google-hosted email.

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  54. There are a lot of players vying of this marketshare right now. It can only help bring the features up, and price down. Pretty Cool

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  55. 1 GB is ridiculous. ADrive gives 50 GB for free.
    Google probably have financial problems and can’t keep up with the competition.

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  56. You’re not well informed. Google will provide 5GB of free storage space. More storage can be bought against really sharp rates. The lowest in the market today.
    Google will blow Dropbox and Microsoft totally away with its new service!

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  57. We’re past the first week of April, and we’re past early April, and there’s still no GDrive. I was hoping you and your “well-placed source” were right about this, because this really would have been useful.

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  58. Marta Dragonska Wednesday, April 25, 2012

    I would like to recomended you sugarsync. You have at start 5GB of totally free storage. You can synchronize every folder on disk [not only special one like in dropbox]. You can easy share your files to everyone simple clicking right mouse button in windows explorer and pick option “get public link for this file”.
    Very simple and very usefull!
    I use this feature to insert pictures into forums and blogs, and for send files to my friends/coworkers [it's simpler that send big files via email].

    From referal link you can increase your free storage up to 32GB totally free!

    So, I very recomend sugarsync.

    If you are interested please login via this link:

    goo.gl/uiVtw

    You have extra free space at beginning, and I get also extra 500MB. Thanks!

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