Google Drive coming soon, at long last

UPDATE: 2012-02-09 There have been rumors for several years that Google account holders would one day have a legitimate cloud storage system: Google Drive, GDrive, whatever. GHacks alerted me today that this might very well, at long last, be imminent. Wall Street Journal reports that “Google Inc. is close to launching a cloud-storage service that would rival one of Silicon Valley’s hottest start-ups, cloud-storage provider Dropbox.” The service will simply be called “Drive”. There are scant details, but there is likely to be a free offering and tiered storage space on “Drive”.

GMail hard driveFor quite a while now, those in the know have been able to use their Google Mail (GMail) account as a sky drive, a virtual, offsite storage space. Here’s how to use your GMail account as a virtual hard drive. Of course, it’s not an officially supported feature and could be in breach of Google’s terms & conditions and get you kicked off their system (so don’t use it for anything mission critical).

However, screen shots from the latest version of Google’s photo software Picasa suggest that a supported Google Drive to rival Microsoft Live’s 25 gigabyte SkyDrive may soon be on its way. At the moment, every GMail account has just over 7 gigabytes of space. If Google is readying to launch a virtual drive, we could see that capacity quadruple at the very least so that you have greater storage for media files associated with your various Google apps.

Readwriteweb is adding grist to the rumor mill on the basis of screen shots from Google Blogoscoped, together with a pronouncement from GMail Product Manager Todd Jackson who told Webware that, “We know people’s file sizes are getting bigger. They want to share their files, keep them in the cloud, and not worry about which computer they’re on. Google wants to be solving these problems.” as reported previously on Search Engine Land.

Apologies for acting as a blogging echo chamber on this one but my GDrive item gets a lot of visitors curious about using their Google account for data storage, so I figured it would be well-received if I post the current thinking.

This post originally appeared 2009-01-19 @ 19:01