A long time ago (read: about 4 years), in a galaxy far, far away (read: Silicon Valley), a guy named Drew Houston started a little company called Dropbox. After securing seed funding from Y Combinator, Dropbox officially launched in 2008 at the TechCrunch50. To say nothing of the complexities of implementation, the idea was simple: put your files in one place, access them anywhere. And apparently, the idea was also a really good one: as of October last year, Dropbox had over 50 million users, doubling from a figure of 25 million in April.
Google Drive is real, and it's out, and I've been playing with it. If you haven't heard, Drive is Google's cloud storage offering. You get 5 GB free with an option to buy more.
You're going to hear two phrases over and over again in this hands on, so you'd better get used to them now: get ready to see "like Dropbox" and "like Google Docs" a lot.
Google Docs, by the way? Gone.
The headlines keep rolling in today - first, Google began selling the Galaxy Nexus online, and now, Mountain View has accidentally published details about its
exciting interesting... new cloud service.
The news was posted earlier today on Google's French blog before being taken down shortly thereafter; however, Google+ user Gerwin Sturm managed to catch it just in time.
The mythical unicorn Google Drive is so close, we can practically taste it. Earlier today, Reuters broke the news of a possible Tuesday launch (that would be today), confirming earlier rumors of an initial free 5GB quota and throwing a new number, 100GB of upgradeable storage, into the mix.
It's quite possible that Reuters' sources were on the money this time, as around the same time, Google started bumping the usual free 1GB Docs storage limit all the way up to...
Cloud storage has been gaining popularity in the last few years, and is strongly making its way from the tech niche to the mainstream. Companies big and small have been making their files and documents available on the cloud for some time, and now they're increasingly moving their entire operating platform off local devices in favor or the web.
There's really no point in denying it anymore for the folks up at Mountain View. Google's cloud storage solution, likely to be called Google Drive, is happening. In today's Android developer Hangout when the Googlers were talking about apps, the Drive icon and name can be clearly seen in the Android sharing menu.
The developer phone in the video could have a fully functional version of Drive running on it, which would lend some credence to the rumor that the service could be launched next week.
It has been several years since the first rumors of Google's cloud storage service "Drive" started popping up, but for quite a while we didn't see any of them come to fruition. Just last month, however, we saw a leaked screenshot showing off the Drive logo and its interface, leading us to believe that an official launch wouldn't be too far off.
According to GigaOM's sources, Google plans to launch Drive in the first week of April, offering users 1 GB of storage space for free, with a charge for any more storage; rather paltry compared to Dropbox's free 2 GB of storage.
To answer the question, briefly: nobody really knows at this point. But I do think Google is going to have to make some sacrifices in the short term if the Music service is going to get off the ground. And that's because the record labels won't play ball - at least not by Google's rules according to All Things D, quoting two apparently well-connected sources.
Of course, the words of a couple anonymous music industry insiders aren't definitively representative of the feelings of all the (presumably numerous) parties involved in Google's Music negotiations.