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Google preps magic GDrive

Works even when you're offline

The GDrive rumors have resurfaced. This morning, The Wall Street Journal reported that Google is preparing an online storage service capable of housing all the files you now store on your very own hard drive.

According to The Journal, the service could allow access from both PCs and mobile phones, and it could be released "a few months from now."

Of course, talk of the elusive GDrive is nothing new. Rumors date back to March of last year, when Google accidentally dropped this particular G word into a PowerPoint presentation it was prepping for a get-together with industry analysts.

The presentation exposed a secret plan to store "100% of User Data": "With infinite storage, we can house all user files, including: emails, web history, pictures, bookmarks, etc and make it accessible from anywhere (any device, any platform, etc)", it read, before matter-of-fact-ly pointing out that this sort of thing was already part of company projects known as GDrive, GDS, and Lighthouse.

We asked Google if some sort Googlicious storage service is now imminent, but the company completely ignored us.

The Journal's sources say that Google plans to offer a certain amount of storage for free while charging for additional gigabytes. They also say that Google is "hoping to distinguish itself from existing online storage services partly by simplifying the process for transferring and opening files." Apparently, Google wants this new service to behave "like another hard drive that is handy at all times".

Does that mean it will behave like another hard drive even when you're offline? We'd like to see that trick. Better yet, we wanna know how Google intends to ease concerns that this service will pose a whole new threat to user privacy. The company is already facing heat for hanging onto your web searches and indexing web mail. If it starts storing 100 per cent of your data, those alarm bells will ring even louder. ®

Update

Google has responded. And it insists on using that silly cloud computing moniker:

"Cloud computing is going mainstream. The apps people use every day, such as email, photo sharing, and word processing, are moving to the web because it's easier to share and access your data from anywhere when it's online, in one place.

Storage is an important component of making web apps fit easily into consumers' and business users' lives. That's why we've always offered a lot of free storage, and it's why we offer paid options for buckets of 'overflow' storage spanning across apps, including Picasa Web Albums and Gmail for now, with more services like Google Docs to come.

We're always listening to our users and looking for ways to update and improve our web applications, including storage options, but we don't have anything new to announce right now."

Of course, we all know that sooner or later, GDrive will arrive.

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