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Google Drive launched, not yet ready

Following on from the rumours and anticipation, today Google launched a new service called “Google Drive”. Although this is a consumer offering, we see no reason why SME’s cannot use the service to help expand their business without having to worry about physical storage hardware or data redundancy (backups). Given that the service scales to 16TB it should be plenty to keep most organisations occupied!

What is Google Drive?

First and foremost Google Drive is a cloud storage and collaboration service.  New users get 5GB storage for free, which is a little more than Dropbox (2GB free) and a little less than Microsoft Skydrive (7GB or 25GB if you were lucky and got in early). You can access the service through a web browser from anywhere or on an Android device. At present there is no iPhone or iPad app however we are led to believe these are in the works, not at all surprising that Google would leave these until last!

For those who like to access drives the traditional way through Windows Explorer or Apple’s Finder, there will also be the option to integrate with these, presumably requiring a small software installation but no official details currently. We assume that Google will encourage users to access the service through a browser where possible.

In addition to the storage capabilities, Google being a search company have of course added some useful search capabilities to the product using OCR technology. This means that if you have a ton of scanned documents you’ll be able to search the text contained within without having to do a thing.

Taken directly from the Google Drive website (https://drive.google.com/):

Google Drive is everywhere you are – on the web, in your home, at the office and on the go. So wherever you are, your stuff is just…there. Ready to go, ready to share. Get started with 5 GB free.

When can I sign up to Google Drive?

The big question… when can we get it? Unfortunately we don’t have the answer at present but will update in due course, the website is currently showing “Your Google Drive is not ready yet” with the option to be notified once live, so if you’re keen we would recommend registering there to get in early.

I want to upgrade. How much will it cost?

You can choose to upgrade to 25GB for $2.49/month (~£1.55), 100GB for $4.99/month (~£3.10) or even 1TB for $49.99/month (~£31.00). When you upgrade to a paid account, your Gmail account storage will also expand to 25GB.

Where can I get more information?

There’s plenty of information about Google Drive in the mainstream media right now, but hopefully the links below will be of some use:

Google Drive – https://drive.google.com
Official Google Blog – http://googleblog.blogspot.co.uk/2012/04/introducing-google-drive-yes-really.html
BBC News – http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-17831725