Google Drive rumored to launch the first week of April

Google Drive rumored to launch the first week of April
Google Drive is one of those bits of varporware that has achieved near mythic proportions. First reported half a decade ago (yup, 2007), Google was planning to launch a cloud storage system named “Drive” that would basically have been Dropbox…long before there was a Dropbox. Then, as detailed in Steven Levy’s book In the Plex, Google decided to kill the product despite it being almost finished. They had decided that their push toward cloud computing was best served by trying to move people past the idea of local files, to a usage model where all of your data is simply there in the cloud (think Google Docs).

Eventually, cloud-storage services like Dropbox and Box did appear, which demonstrated that virtual drives are a profitable business opportunity. Worse for Google, it turns out they were a decade or so early – people just aren’t ready to give up on the idea of local files, although they sure do like backing them up and sharing them through the cloud. So sometime last year Google reversed course yet again, and decided to resurrect Google Drive.

We knew the product was being tested - it’s already been seen by people for whom the service had accidentally been switched on. According to sources speaking to GigaOM the launch of Google Drive is now very, very close; the launch date is expected to be sometime next week. Like Dropbox, GDrive will come with a native client for easy syncing and uploading of your files. Google will reportedly be giving everyone 1 GB of free storage, with options to purchase more space.

DropBox currently offers 2 GB of free storage (5 GB to Android users), which makes the 1 GB of storage seem a bit suspicious – Google isn’t normally stingy with their free products. Though not confirmed, we expect the launch will include a native Android app, and apps for iOS and other popular mobile platforms are likely in the not-too-distant future.

We certainly welcome competition to the cloud storage market, and Android users should see tight integration with Drive . Still, it seems odd that a cloud computing pioneer like Google has stumbled so much with this product – we hope the finished product will be worth the wait.

source: GigaOM via Droid-Life

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