The partnership between Google and AOL hasn't stopped competition between the two -- it appears as though AOL is set to give all AIM users 5GB of free storage using Xdrive. I wonder if they are squirming over the pending release of Gdrive?
In a press release from AOL, they state the service will allow users to back up and protect important files like photos, documents, music, and videos -- basically no restrictions on filetype. Here is a list of features that will be found in their service:
- 5 Gigabytes (GB) secure online storage at no cost
- No charges for uploads or downloads
- Ability to store any type of file, including photos, music, video, and documents
- Drag and drop interface between online storage and hard drive
- Access to files through any Web-connected PC or mobile device
- Permission-based file and folder sharing
- Online collaboration via shared files
- Scheduled automatic backups
I'm sure most of these features will be present in Gdrive, but I would be surprised to see Google offer the sharing features. That seems to be a feature that could cause legal problems when users start abusing the service to illegally share files like mp3's.
Just last week there was fresh evidence suggesting Google will be providing "infinite storage" for something -- but it's still a bit of a mystery as to what. I think it will be Gdrive, and others think Gmail is gearing up for an infinite storage inbox. Maybe it's both. Gmail already stores chat history and voicemail without any regard for your 2.xGB of storage -- so what is to stop them from storing files there too?
There is already a shell extension created by Bjarke Viksoe that provides a "G:" for Windows users -- but behind the scenes Gmail is used for storage. When Gdrive is finally released, will the "web access" feature simply be your Gmail?
One advantage that Gdrive will have over a product like Xdrive (once it is released) is the cross-platform compatibility. Based on a recent discovery, this product will work on Windows, Macintosh and Linux computers -- giving it a competitive edge over Xdrive right out of the box.