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Google working on cloud storage system

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By Nicole Kobie

Posted on 9 Feb 2012 at 10:21

Google is expected to soon reveal Drive, an online cloud storage system.

Google has been close to launching a "GDrive" for years, with CEO Larry Page working on the project six years ago. Google also unveiled a file storage system in 2010 for Google Apps users, but that was limited to 1GB at launch.

The new release, dubbed Drive, has more in common with rival Dropbox, according to sources cited in The Wall Street Journal, allowing any file to be uploaded and shared via a link or viewed via an internet connection on another device.

Google has yet to confirm or deny the report, and there's no information about how much storage would be on offer. The report said the service, like its rivals, would offer a small amount of storage for free, and try to undercut Dropbox on larger paid-for accounts.

Google Drive is expected to be released within the next few weeks or months, the sources said.

Pick up the latest issue of PC Pro for our test of 12 cloud storage and backup services.

For further coverage of cloud computing visit our sister site Cloud Pro.

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User comments

Is this really news?

Don't mean to be picky, but there doesn't seem to be anything new here:
- Google 'might' be launching a cloud storage
- it might be cheaper than Dropbox
- it might launch in the next few weeks/months

Haven't we heard this before?

C

By Chatan on 9 Feb 2012

@Chatan

I guess it is a hook to remind us about the latest issue of PC Pro! So I'll use it as a hook to comment on that!

I was completely amazed to read yet another review of cloud storage services without a single mention of terms and conditions or legal hazard. Frankly anybody who uses one of these services without finding out which legal jurisdiction (a) the operating company; and (b) the data storage centre, is based in is a reckless idiot! I am guessing that many of these services are run by US companies with data centres in the US. So do not complain when you get arrested at dawn, extradited on demand to the US, tried without being able to afford a decent lawyer and dumped in some murderous hell-hole of a Texas jail for a few decades. All because you accidently synchronised some file that you did not realise some US company claims infringes their intellectual property rights!

Far fetched? Well, when you can buy a 2GB hard disk for under £100 it seems a lot of risk to take for very little benefit. Some companies are actually letting Microsoft store their email histories in the US! Pure recklessness!

By JohnAHind on 9 Feb 2012

The Cloud is not only the future but NOW. Too many people get easily agitated over typical T&Cs - it's Google, they're too big to get this very wrong.
As for Apps storage, you can now store as much as you want, with 1GB free. And at $5 per year for 20GB, it's extremely cheap compared to Dropbox/Amazon S3.
The advantage that Dropbox has, is that it's so user friendly and just works. If Google's Drive can be as good, expect the market to explode.
And the real fly in the ointment is the data charge that could ensue because of parsimonious allowances by mobile networks, demonstrated by T-Mobile having changed ALL their new plans and pretending that 100MB pm is a good deal and effectively charging £40 per GB on typical plans.

By Bureaunet on 9 Feb 2012

@Bureaunet

Livedrive is much better than that: 2TB for £10 per month. But that is still much more than a hard drive over a single year. And as you point out, you have the networking costs on top of that.

I'm not against the cloud in principle, but without a clear multi-national legal framework, I would only consider doing business with a European company which guaranteed to keep my data within the EU.

By JohnAHind on 9 Feb 2012

@JohnAHind

I was about to make a similar comment about legal issues when I read your comments (you said it much better than I would have!); PC Pro in the past have actually argued similar concerns, however, more recently the standard has really slipped at PC Pro - so sad. Maybe trying to do too much in many different formats (Website, Magazine, Podcast etc...? Just cancelled my subscription.

By neil_aky on 10 Feb 2012

@JohnAHind

Livedrive's pricing is sensational but their T&Cs aren't. It's a backup only, service. If you delete a file from your PC it gets deleted from Livedrive. That's not proper storage and can't be used for permanently archiving files. Fine for some, no doubt.

By Bureaunet on 10 Feb 2012

Livedrive data stored in the UK

@JohAHind With Livedrive you can store your data online only not having to store it on your computer, if you use the Briefcase or Pro Suite package. Also all data stored with Livedrive is stored in the UK only.

By Live_drive on 10 Feb 2012

@Live_drive

Stored in the UK does not really count for much as Microsoft have stated that they would transfer data to US servers and hand it over to authorities in the US if requested.

Sorry but no UK business should be prepared to allow their data to be subject to the legal system in the US.

By neil_aky on 10 Feb 2012

@Live_drive

OOps got confused - Google not Microsoft!!! However, have Google said that they would not behave as Microsoft haev indicated and pull EU data into US or would they defy US law...?

By neil_aky on 10 Feb 2012

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