It has been confirmed on Google’s Blog that the rumours about Google Drive are true. Google Drive is similar to Dropbox, Skydrive and other cloud sync storage solutions. It’s perhaps a bit early to start making definite comparisons as Google Drive isn’t actual live yet, but it is possible to draw some comparisons from the information we have from Google. The video clip below gives us an insight into what Google Drive offers.
Google Drive vs. Dropbox, SkyDrive, SugarSync, and others: a cloud sync storage face-off is a good articles that gives us an initial comparison of Google Drive compared to current offerings on the market.
Dropbox users may hope that Google Drive being added to the list of competitors offering more free storage will put pressure on Dropbox to up it’s free limit from 2GB to 5GB. However, we much remember that Dropbox operate the referral scheme to gain more free space and double the free space for education users. The price points that Google Drive choose for additional paid storage and any schemes they introduce to get free space are more likely to increase competition.[info]Google’s new storage price plans are more expensive, but may still put other cloud storage providers under pressure to lower prices. 100GB on Google Drive will set you back £37 ($60) a year compared to Dropbox’s £121 ($199) for the same space. Even if you take into account the referral scheme that Dropbox runs, you could for example have the 50GB package with 32GB of space from referrals, giving you 82GB for £60 ($99) per year, still more expensive, both over all and per GB. Small and medium sized businesses, and indeed individuals, may well be enticed by the the more competitive price points in the market. Dropbox forums show many Dropbox users requesting smaller and cheaper plans because of the price points; Google Drive has just upped the ante.[/info]
The search facilities and collaborative tools offered by Google Drive are a real plus, especially for business users already using Google Apps. For individuals that just want their files synced and especially those that want to share files with the public, such as photo galleries, it looks unlikely they will be drawn away from Dropbox.
Google Drive makes it easier to find relevant information rather than just manage your files. Think of how Picasa differs from other photo management software, the emphasis is on finding what you want in an intuitive way without having to think about folders and file names.
Functionality aside, there is a wider debate about the size of Google and the number of services that business’ rely on that are supplied by them. It’s the old saying, don’t put all your eggs in one basket. Some people are concerned that Google is becoming too big and business’ are reliant on them for E-mail, Calendar, Documents, Mobile / Location Services, and now Storage.
We can see the argument, but we tend to think it comes down to risk management. You can use these services, but you should always have a plan for if these services were to disappear, or suddenly become too expensive. We use Google Apps for a variety of things but we are not reliant on them and we have alternatives to ensure business continuity should Google or other services that we use disappear; to us it’s just good business sense. Whether you trust Google with so much of your information is another matter and one that ultimately only you can decide for yourself.
We will be keeping an eye on this exciting development and will provide updates as they become available. Some have access to Google Drive already