Google GDrive is not a rumor

Google GDrive is not a rumor

Summary: Update:subscribe to this feed if you want to be the first to know when GDrive is made public. An interesting article by Greg Linden points to some slide comments from Google's Analyst Day Power Point presentation last week.

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TOPICS: Google
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Update:
subscribe to this feed if you want to be the first to know when GDrive is made public.

An interesting article by Greg Linden points to some slide comments from Google's Analyst Day Power Point presentation last week.  The presentation was removed from Google's website but the text is still available in Greg's post.  These notes clearly state efforts have been put towards "infinite storage" in terms of GDrive.  In September I ran across compelling evidence that suggests a product by this name was either in the works, or at least being considered -- at that time it was nothing more than speculation.  Now, according to these notes it isn't far from reality.

"With infinite storage, we can house all user files, including: emails, web history, pictures, bookmarks, etc and make it accessible from anywhere (any device, any platform, etc). We already have efforts in this direction in terms of GDrive, GDS, Lighthouse, but all of them face bandwidth and storage constraints today."  -- excerpt from Analyst Day presentation notes.

The GDrive service will provide anyone (who trusts Google with their data) a universally accessible network share that spans across computers, operating systems and even devices.  Users will no longer require third party applications to emulate this behaviour by abusing Gmail storage.

In a Windows environment, most users know how to use the typical C: in "My Computer".  Network drives work exactly the same but are given a different letter and the files within are not stored on the computer.  If my suspicions are correct and GDrive is simply a network share, most applications could take advantage of this service without modification.

The question of course is how Google will monetize a service like this.  I cannot see how file storage using a network share could be used to serve up advertisements -- so maybe they won't.  In some screenshots of Gmail for domains, it appears there are different "account plans" that I assume provide additional email addresses.  Could a similar system work for online storage?  For example, 1GB free and pay $5 for each additional.

Another way to generate income from this service would be to provide users a DVD backup of their data for a small monthly fee.  Depending on how often a GDrive is used by someone, it could make sense to receive a backup on a regular schedule -- while they are at it, why not include some "cool" extras on those DVD's?

Online storage with GDrive could be an important part of Google's future plans -- universal access to your data will soon become reality. 

Topic: Google

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103 comments
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  • Scary

    This company wants a monopoly on all information, both public and private.

    Kinda makes Microsoft's monopoly look puny by comparison...
    broper
    • Nothing like it

      This is nothing like a monopoly. Giving people a feature and having a monopoly are two different things.
      wmealing
      • Like the Marxists used to say...

        "When we hang the last capitalist, he will sell us the rope." This is how privacy is lost, one free "feature" at a time.

        First they get your search history, then your email, now your files...
        broper
        • Maybe you

          should worry about Microsoft first, then worry about Google after MS has been taken off the war path to getting a slice of each computing transaction.
          nomorems
        • oh, right

          google is exactly like the iron curtain!

          google doesn't have a monopoly going here. they're one of many services to offer their features. they're not crowding other services out of the market with monopolistic business practices.

          you could certainly benefit from learning a thing or two before opening your mouth and proving yourself a fool.
          glocks out
        • Don't use it

          People seem to get lost when talking about monopolies and the like. Remember, this is a free service you have to apply for... If you think Google will unfairly use your files, then don't sign up. I would point out however, that Google was the ONLY company to fight the DOJ's request to get our search histories. So for the normal user, GDrive would be the same as a harddrive, unavailable unless probable cause is shown.
          scott.kent
    • One solution..

      would be to encrypt all your data that you store on their system :)
      Patrick Jones
      • A sensible solution

        that removes the 'horrors! It's Google come to get us' mantra that Microsoft likes to put out there (like we should trust MS more than Google?).
        nomorems
      • Or a better one ...

        ... would be not to use it at all if you have any doubts about it. Google, like anybody else has the right to offer any service to anybody willing to use it as long as they are upfront about the handling of the csutomers' privacy and they adhere to it.

        Now, not that I will run out to use it but it might come handy in certain situations.
        Ardian Daka
        • It could be handy..

          but since flash drives come in 4G, and are getting bigger, I don't really see much need.
          Patrick Jones
    • I know what's really scary.

      People want control. People want privacy. But people have to pay a price.

      It used to be that I had a mainframe. My users paid 50 cents per cylinder (about .6MB) per day for storage. It was not as if they could have moved to PCs, which had 10MB hard drives. Disk space was very expensive all around, and running a mainframe was very expensive. But the users got security. It was far more secure than what users have on their desktops today. They got privacy. They got daily backups to tape, and two copies were made. One was kept in the computer room library, which was safe and secure, and the other was kept off site in an armored fireproof vault that was administered by a security company. They also had RAID5 before most people had a clue what it meant, so loss of any data due to a crash was almost impossible (it never happened) so short of a disaster, even the last few hours of data was reasonably safe.

      If there was a crash, there was also a recovery. These days, those few who back things up rarely have a strategy for putting a network back together if the need arises, and there are few utilities that allow you to automatically assemble pieces from a variety of backups, as we had back then.

      As things moved to local storage, costs dropped. But people gave up a lot. If anything went wrong, the true loss was far greater than what they may have saved in the interim.

      We don't need to go back to mainframes, but the notion that whatever I do is stored locally, and if I need to use a computer at the other end of the country, my desktop would have to look different and I might not have my applications and data is many steps backward from the old days.

      Google cannot get a monopoly on anything that is easy for somebody else to implement. They cannot get a monopoly on something that somebody else can afford to implement. They cannot get a monopoly on something that a user can do without.

      Let them build something better, make it cost effective, and guarantee my privacy. If it's easier for somebody to break a single pane of glass in your house, go through your window, and take all your data than it would be to higher the best hackers or spies to get it from Google, then your data is not safer at home.

      In the mean time, we've seen the advantages of centralization. The web itself is as mainframe-like as you can get; the system you are running now is essentially coming from somebody's web server, and the browser is a modern day smart equivalent of a dumb terminal. It's not that it's unimportant, but it's not the application, and that's a strength. You need not install the latest version of ZiffDavis or Citibank to read this forum or do your banking. Having your data somewhere else makes it portable too. Users already do this with on-line financial data, or with a Gmail type system. POP3 should have died out years ago when IMAP was introduced, but anybody who uses POP3 who ever had a crash, needed to read mail and keep it in sync on multiple computers, or needed to move from one computer to another knows, local storage is full of problems.

      That's not saying that you can't have things locally. IMAP keeps copies of everything locally if you want. But if my entire computer gets wiped out, I lose none of my email or any of its folders, and merely reinstalling my client puts me back in business.

      Google finally woke up the world when they made people notice that giving users 2GB of storage is far cheaper than it was to give 10MB for email when the Internet started to become popular. But ISPs stayed in the dark.

      Google can afford to give us a lot. They cannot afford to be undercut by competition, and that's exactly what will happen if they get greedy or sloppy.
      wresnick
    • Monopoly?

      How can anyone call that monopoly? You are being OFFERED a service. You can easily opt for the services around that offer data archiving.
      You say privacy is the issue, what's so different beween google's GDrive idea and all the mail-service offering companies out there?
      kingkamau
      • Re:Monopoly?

        It is only a Monolpoly if Microsoft or IBM of old offer the service. MS only offers the Windows program; no one has to buy it. You can make your own computer or if you must buy from Dell <whoever> and they force-feed you Windows, then you can re-format the drive(s). and write your own OS.
        amin_adatia
    • access, not monopoly

      My off-site data is stored in three places:
      a) my .Mac space in Cupertino (Mac only?, $99/year)
      b) my Spymac space "off shore" (any, small fee)
      c) my resume, among other things, is on Yahoo! disk (any, [b]
      free[/b])
      You need web-accessable storage for your PC and don't want to
      deal with Google? Go to www.spymac.com and for a few dollars
      a year they will rent you some storage. If your needs are limited,
      go to Yahoo! and get FREE storage. Where's the monopoly?
      dlmeyer@...
    • Re: Scary.

      > This company wants a monopoly on all information, both public and private.

      Well only if you let them. You certainly aren't REQUIRED to store you data with them are you? I'm certainly not.
      LBean
    • Give me a break!

      This guys made a really big IT company of services in internet. They don't buy competitiors, they create itselfs!
      And gmail or gdrive is a service, you must subscribe to use it.
      The day google take control of the internet wold be scarry...
      io_bound
    • Gdrive looking more like a scam

      @broper
      I don't think they're looking for a monopoly on "all information". They just intend to be the gatekeeper for the internet. They want to collect fees for as many internet activities as they possibly can. Like many people I used to think they were in it for the "larger good" -- what an idiot. Ever since I paid money for 87 gigabytes of Google storage, believing their utter lie that there was a "Gdrive" just around the corner -- and started losing the few files I struggled to upload to that mess -- I've realized the central fact: we're stuck with Google, but they are an enemy. They will screw us however they can. You've gotta stay focused, use them as you have to, and not be sucked in by all their warm-n-cuddly self-promotion.
      kentfx_z
  • They're building to an Apple .mac style service

    I can see google releasing gmail to outlook (etc) sync and sync
    your documents to the G: folder.
    I just can't see the business model for the G: drive. How do
    google make money from it? However, so far, they're doing
    pretty well!
    The information they could extract from usage and sharing
    patterns would be pretty priceless though. This would put them
    in a great position to capitalise over microsoft and apple.
    (maybe Microsoft and apple do this through phone home
    anyway, I don't know).
    stevey_d
    • Money?

      I have been evangelizing this sort of setup for several months. I speculated that the big players had to be working on it, particularly Google. My includes several ways to make money - DVD backups, ad support, free storage up to a point and a la carte pricing afterward, MB download pricing plans a la cell phone minutes, etc. The most important though is the webload. Partner with media providers (iTunes, Viacom, Disney, etc) to deliver content directly to the gdrive. Google would then take a bite from every one of these transactions.
      t_rock
      • Money?

        Hey, t_rock

        How much are you asking for the rope they are hanging you with?
        albucario