It would be remiss of Google if they left one corner of technology unexplored, so in order to ensure they aren’t vulnerable to such an oversight the search engine company is working on launching yet another service so as to further their complete monopoly on your online presence: cloud storage.
According to the Wall Street Journal, Google will soon be launching such a service, called Drive, in order to likely compete with existing services like Dropbox, Microsoft Cloud, and Apple’s iCloud. As you can expect, users will be able to upload files to the cloud service and then access them from any Internet-enabled device.
That Google would just now be launching a cloud service after several of its competitors have already entered the market is peculiar and yet the decision seems ceremonial rather than functional. For years now, Google has been in the business of cloud storage by allowing users to upload and access files through several of their services. Since 2007, Google Docs has been allowing users to upload documents that can later be accessed, edited, and download from any Internet-enabled device. Additionally, Picasa has been Google’s online image hosting site since 2004 and last year Google launched an online music-streaming service, Google Music.
So… what is there really to gain from a Google-brand cloud storage service?
This may not be widely known, but Google already has a cloud storage service simply titled Google Cloud Storage. The service, however, is only for developers who want “direct access to Google’s scalable storage and networking infrastructure as well as powerful authentication and data sharing mechanisms.” However, users have to access the service through REST API, Google Storage Manager, or GSUtil. In other words, users need some hefty computer skills to use this service, and even then it’s not for casual users.
A cloud storage service more readily decipherable and usable for the general public would be a good idea… if Google didn’t already offer several services that probably accomodate users’ general needs. Maybe Drive will look to consolidate the storage needs of users and will thus act solely as a space to store files as opposed to services like Docs and Picasa that promote the sharing of files. Then again, a cloud storage service that seemingly duplicates the purposes of existing Google Apps could prematurely cause Drive to join Buzz and Wave in Google’s been of rejected apps.