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Google Drive: Finally coming this April

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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 Responses to “Google Drive: Finally coming this April”

  1. 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.)

  2. 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…!


    $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 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.

  4. 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.

  5. Justin Freid

    Google currently sells storage that can be shared across Gmail, Picasa Web Albums, and Google Docs 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.

  6. 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?

  7. 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.


        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.

  8. 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”

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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.

    • 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.

      • 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.