Google Gdrive: for real this time?

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, Browser, Hardware, Storage

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  • S3

    You forgot to mention Amazon S3 as one of the competitors to beat. With some software frontend, like JungleDisk for eg, S3 provides an real alternative.
  • Gmail<Yahoo?

    "Even Gmail is a weak sister against Yahoo"

    Not in my book. And not in anyone that I know's books. For the record, I think Yahoo mail is AWFUL. They don't even compare. I guess I'm missing what part of AWFUL is better than Gmail.

    Not saying that Gmail is perfect. It's not. But it's a heckuva lot better than the mishmash of code with the Yahoo label on it.
    • I would tend to agree...

      ...S3 was mentioned in another thread but it, at least so far, appears to be 'developer-oriented' in terms of marketing.

      Looking ahead, I am wagering that Google will 'leap frog' past Amazon's S3/EC2 cloud and go one better than Gdrive:

      Subscription-based business/consumer Virtual Private Server Desktops via thin client.

      Robin, think about all of the infrastructure Google has put into place and it fits that they will use it for [b]more[/b] than Gdrive.

      Fit that they are bidding on the wireless 700MHz open spectrum, have published their Android specification and, well, do I need to draw a picture?

      I think I've hit oil so I'll stop drilling.

      D T Schmitz
      • one step at a time...

        after all, they could easily make the GDrive, and have it be similar to SSHFS, for all intents and purposes... and it'd be a first step towards offering everything like that.
        • Already there

          On linux, since 2005:

          • Google hack, so not quite there

            Here's a Firefox plug-in, [url-]Gspace[/url] that does essentially the same.

            D T Schmitz
    • Gmail market share vs Yahoo

      Fried, I'm a Gmail user myself because Yahoo mail is a PITA. However, Google has not
      been successful in turning that superiority in market share.

      Technology only gets a company so far. Google's marketing is not up to the high
      standard of their technology.

      R Harris
      • that's a different story...

        That Yahoo has better marketing or share doesn't mean that it is better. Many people Gmail, including myself, thinks that Gmail is more powerful, faster, less bloated, and provides an better overall experience that Yahoo. Ok, Gmail's addressbook sucks big time, but otherwise I would never go for Yahoo. Is Windows better than Mac? they have a bigger share, but that doesn't mean it is better.
    • I Prefer Yahoo

      I think it is a much better service, but then again, it's free so who cares.

      I really only use it to spare my real email address and my work email address of any unnecessary spam.

      I do have both. I have a Yahoo account and a Gmail account.

      But I think at the end of the day it is a personal preference that each individual makes. And my preference largely comes down to how long I've been using Yahoo. I think I prefer it because I've been using it longer.

      In addition, email services to most users are just like most software bloat. You can offer me loads and loads of additional features but really all I want is basic email with kick ass spam filtering.
    • Alternate emails / Zoho or eDeskOnline

      Using mail at Zoho or eDeskOnline is more productive. Reason = mail is integrated with other features like archives, accounts, stocks
  • free email market share ?? Does it make a difference

    Come on guys... We are talking about market share for free email services. This is not 1985 after all.

    How much value does free email have to the end user ?? And does the end user really care about a free service ?? If you look at the big players and most small players, there is not much differentiation between services. Even sprint and verizon, give you globally available free email with a mobile phone account. I've heard some land line phone companies are providing free email for their subscribers.

    Verizon allows you to sync your desktop outlook with their servers and your pda. As far as I'm concerned that beats all free services hands down. Then again, I have different "expectations" of data services than others may have.

    The bottom line, people only value something they pay for, or something that provides them significant convenience. I fall into the latter category. Most free email end users don't convert free email services because it too much trouble to fill out another form and go around to change their email addresses.

    Losing the market share battle ? Poor marketing execution ? What battle ? The market is flat, there's really little differentiation between services. Ad revenues are dropping because advertisers are finally figuring out they don't understand online ad channel metrics and ad channel supplied campaign performance reports can't be trusted.. The next big market for free email is china, and the Chinese government has that market pretty much wrapped up.

    Robin, what do you think will force a change in status quo ??
    • Absolutely it makes a difference!

      xfer, it sure does. As long as Yahoo has the preferred email platform they have a
      powerful tool to launch other services, to watch consumer behavior, and to present
      their brand.

      Internet ad revenue is exploding. In most other industries Yahoo would be
      considered very successful: growing, good margins, good brand. But since they are
      up against Google they look like idiots.

      My point about Google is that they have done very well with search, ok with maps,
      and the rest of their products are distant 4ths, 5ths or worse.

      When it comes to Gdrive, their record suggests that they will do something lame
      rather than, to borrow a phrase, insanely great. Which is sad, because they are
      uniquely positioned to blow everyone else out of the water due to their low-cost

      R Harris