Google Drive expected to launch in April: Is it too late?

Google Drive expected to launch in April: Is it too late?

Summary: Google is expected to launch an online storage service dubbed Google Drive, or GDrive, as soon as the first week of April, according to GigaOm.

TOPICS: CXO, Apps, Cloud, Google

Considering how strong a leader Google is when it comes to cloud-based productivity solutions (Google Apps), it's a little surprising that the Goog hasn't introduced a bona fide cloud storage service yet.

Google is expected to officially announce and launch an online storage service dubbed Google Drive, or GDrive, as soon as the first week of April, according to GigaOm and its sources.

Coincidentally, registration for Google I/O, Google's now-annual conference for developers in San Francisco, kicked off this morning. It would make sense if Google waited until June to officially introduce Google Drive for added publicity and details if it is going to be as big a venture as we might expect.

If the reports are true, GDrive is expected to start off by offering 1GB of storage space for free with fees for extra storage space thereafter.

By comparison, Dropbox starts off with 2GB for free, and Box offers 5GB for free -- or as much as 50GB if you qualify for one of their mobile device promotions.

Although we don't know all of the details yet obviously, and it might not necessarily be a direct competitor, iCloud also offers iOS and Mac users at least 5GB for free too.

However, if GDrive arrives in beta mode (like most other Google products do when they first launch), the 1GB offer might just be a starting point, and we could see a gradual increase in the free space allotments.

Although there have been rumors about a Google Drive for a few years, including recent murmurs earlier this year adding to the anticipation, one has to ask why has Google taken so long with this and is it too late? Dropbox has already been a runaway success in this market with a very simple but popular product.

Google already fumbled when it first announced Google Music without any support from major labels last spring, but the digital music service rebounded later in the year when it fixed that problem.

That also brings us to Google Play, which could have major tie-ins to Google Drive. The digital entertainment platform has been getting a significant push lately, and with all of those digital movies and more content available, it could make sense to store them somewhere like Google Drive.

Nevertheless, Google does its brand name on its side. Think about how many millions of users are already on Google Apps, and how many of them would probably prefer to have all of their email, electronic documents and cloud storage under one account rather than having multiple accounts with other services. Then when you throw in access to cloud storage on Android smartphones and tablets, it simplifies things for users even further.

It will be awhile before we see how much of a threat Google Drive could be to the likes of Dropbox and Box, at least when it comes to personal accounts.

But if Google can manage to introduce a more enticing service from the get-go (unlike Google Music) and maintain hype for a longer period of time (unlike Google+), then GDrive has the most potential for any Google product than we've seen in a while.


Topics: CXO, Apps, Cloud, Google

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.


Log in or register to join the discussion
  • this will leave the competition in the dust

    Only google can be so generous with the space and free apps.
    The Linux Geek
    • Ongly Google Can Have a TOS That Allows them to Publicly Display Your Stuff

      Well, Google and Dropbox. I wonder when all of your data will start being handed over to advertisers?
    • This will leave.....

      Yes, just think, now they won't have to snoop your computer. It's now on their "cloud site," imagine the time savings. Nothing is for free!!!! They can peruse your data at their leisure! Great job!
      Now instead of them having to sneak the fox into the hen house, you've moved the hen house into the fox's lair. Makes "perfect sense" to me. NOT, NO WAY, AIN"T NEVER GOING TO HAPPEN!!!!! NEVER!
  • SkyDrive gives you 25 GB

    So what's up with only one gig when Microsoft Live Skydrive gives you 25 gigs?
    • Strange Omission

      Agreed and why was this not mentioned? SkyDrive seems to work fine for me.
    • File size limitations

      If that 1GB of storage has no limit on file sizes, it will have the same advantage over SkyDrive that my 2GB DropBox has. I can add a 700MB file to DropBox; I can't with SkyDrive.
  • gives you 3 GB for free with Android and iPhone apps

    The european Dropbox like service, CloudMe already provides Android, iPhone, WebDAV and mail access through its cloud file system. Probably a lot safer to have your data under european regulations. It is not scanned for ads anyway!
  • huh. what happened to 2 gb they already have?

    Ok, I suppose the what the.... question has to be asked. I thought Google already allows 2gb's, and now someone's saying one gb!?!?!!
    I do have to agree w/ the sky drive comments though... 25gb's is a lot better.
  • Didn't they have that service 10 years ago.

    This is the thing that intrigue me!? If my memory doesnt fail me, google had a service like that almost a decade ago. Then 4 years ago they shut it down. So unless they give free tickets for the hunger games with it. I dont think its going to be that successful with the storage space above stated; maybe they oughta rethink the whole purpose of it. I mean companies like Symform 200 GB and Sugarsync 5 GB give a lot way more space for free! Will have to see the proposal and see if its worth it
  • Errrr......

    Expect Google to tie everything to it.
    Like everything else, expect you to automatically have a Google Drive even if you don't need it. If you recall, you sign up for a Gmail account, they give you a Google+ account - even if you don't want it.
    I'll assume the marketing department at Google didn't get bonuses for thinking up this name.
    • Why is this field required?

      Not a Google+ account, but a Google profile. Which I think is fair, all it does is have your name and sex for use with other services you might want. Also you don't have to have anything to do with Google, you could have a different mail service.
  • I have already GotABackup

    Google have a reputation for snooping around peoples data and using it as they see fit. I will stick with where I know my information is safe and secure.