Google Gdrive: for real this time?

Summary:Don't keep me hangin' on!Given their industry leading infrastructure costs Google is the one company that could really shake up the online storage business.

Don't keep me hangin' on! Given their industry leading infrastructure costs Google is the one company that could really shake up the online storage business. Only 2 questions: will they? and when?

Pimping Gdrive for the Wall Street Journal In this morning's Wall Street Journal is an unsourced article on Google's supposed Gdrive ambitions. That's right, no one from Google was quoted. But hey, slow news day.

The opportunity Google has the cheapest infrastructure of any portal (see Killing with kindness: death by big iron), so they are well-placed to kick some serious butt in online storage.

But will Google ever pull the trigger?

Where did the WSJ get their info? "People familiar with the matter." Then the article positions Google against Omnidrive,, Xdrive, and the free, beta-only Microsoft Windows Live Skydrive. But these aren't the people to beat. The $50/year, all-you-can-eat Carbonite and Mozy - the latter just bought by the fierce and deep-pocketed EMC - are the benchmark.

If Google can't beat them they shouldn't even get out of bed. It will be another doomed Google offering that failed to meet market demand. Like Google Video, News and Finance. Even Gmail is a weak sister against Yahoo.

When - and if - it gets announced Just look at the pricing. If they go with tiered pricing - so many gigabytes for so many dollars - they're doomed. With the Google brand they might even get a bit of premium over Carbonite and Mozy, but not much.

The Storage Bits take Google has too many engineers playing at marketing. If they want to build multiple revenue streams - beyond Internet advertising - they need to get serious about actually producing high-value products. Not every competitor is as inept as Microsoft and Yahoo.

Comments welcome, of course.

Topics: Google, Enterprise Software, Hardware, Storage


Robin Harris is Chief Analyst at TechnoQWAN LLC, a storage research and consulting firm he founded in 2005. Based in Sedona, Arizona, TechnoQWAN focuses on emerging technologies, products, companies and markets. Robin has over 35 years experience in the IT industry and earned degrees from Yale and the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton... Full Bio

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