Feeds

Google unveils GDrive that's 'not the GDrive'

Storage for any file on Google Docs

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

Google says it's not the fabled GDrive. But the company will soon roll out an update to Google Docs - its web-based file editor - that lets users upload and store files of any type.

In a Tuesday morning blog post, Google Docs project manager Vijay Bangaru said the update would appear on existing accounts "over the next few weeks." Naturally, the company touted the addition as an alternative to transporting files via email or USB drive.

"You’ll be able to backup large graphics files, RAW photos, ZIP archives and much more to the cloud," Bangaru's post reads. "More importantly, instead of carrying a USB drive, you can now use Google Docs as a more convenient option for accessing your files on different computers."

This does not mean that Google Docs will read any file. Editing and viewing is still limited to popular document, spreadsheet, and presentation file types, including .docx, .xlsx, .doc, .odt, xls, .ods, .ppt, .csv, .html, .txt, and .rtf. And there's a file-size limit: 250MB.

In March 2006, a Google PowerPoint presentation intended for industry analysts famously exposed a company 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)," the presentation read, before pointing out that this sort of thing was already part of company projects known as GDrive, GDS, and Lighthouse.

Ever since then, rumors have swirled that the GDrive was on the horizon. In November 2007, the Wall Street Journal reported that Google was preparing an online storage service capable of housing all the files you now store on your own hard drive, saying it could be ready "a few months from now." And in January 2009, new evidence indicated that this sort of storage service would be rolled into Google Docs.

That's exactly what has happened. But speaking with Information Week, Bangaru says Google Docs' imminent update "is not the GDrive." Yes, just like the Nexus One is not the Googlephone.

No doubt, Google would like to distance itself from talk of storing "100% of User Data." But this Google Docs update jibes with a GDrive reference that turned up last January in a file used by Google's free software suite, Google Pack.

Naturally, users are under no obligation to use the service. They can upload as much or as little data as they like. But in the grand scheme of things, this does give Google access to more user data - something it's constantly striving for. Data is not only a means of making decisions at Google, it's a way of juicing its search results and targeting ads.

But that's not the party line. With its blog post, Google also said that its Google Docs update will facilitate collaboration, with users able to upload files of any type to its "shared folders," introduced in October last year. Meanwhile, business users paying $50 per year for Google Apps Premier Edition can do batch uploads via the Google Documents List Data API. And as discussed Tuesday morning on the Google Enterprise blog, various third-party developers are offering tools that do automatic file migration and syncing with Premier Edition.

All Google Docs users received 1GB of storage for free. Consumers can purchase additional space for $0.25 per GB per year, while Google Apps Premier Edition users can must pay $3.50 per GB per year (or €3.00 per GB per year in the EU). Premier Edition includes support and covers not only Google Docs, but Gmail, Google Calendar, Google Sites, and more. ®

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
Ex-US Navy fighter pilot MIT prof: Drones beat humans - I should know
'Missy' Cummings on UAVs, smartcars and dying from boredom
Don't wait for that big iPad, order a NEXUS 9 instead, industry little bird says
Google said to debut next big slab, Android L ahead of Apple event
Xperia Z3: Crikey, Sony – ANOTHER flagship phondleslab?
The Fourth Amendment... and it IS better
Netscape Navigator - the browser that started it all - turns 20
It was 20 years ago today, Marc Andreeesen taught the band to play
A drone of one's own: Reg buyers' guide for UAV fanciers
Hardware: Check. Software: Huh? Licence: Licence...?
The Apple launch AS IT HAPPENED: Totally SERIOUS coverage, not for haters
Fandroids, Windows Phone fringe-oids – you wouldn't understand
Apple SILENCES Bose, YANKS headphones from stores
The, er, Beats go on after noise-cancelling spat
Here's your chance to buy an ancient, working APPLE ONE
Warning: Likely to cost a lot even for a Mac
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.