The idea of the online hard drive has been around for as long as the web has. FTP has always served as a proximal solution, allowing people with enough savvy easily upload and download files from whatever server they were interested in. But these days, it’s all become much easier. The data service Dropbox has become a huge hit by allowing people to add a folder to their computer which acts the same way as any other folder on their computer, but actually syncs with a cloud version of the same folder, thereby emulating local storage using cloud storage.
Google wants in.
Brad McCarty over at TheNextWeb recently received a release about the new Google Drive service and it has the blogosphere buzzing. Apparently, the new service will give users 5GB of data and be launched at drive.google.com. The service will work on both Windows and Mac, and will integrate with your operating system so that you can have a local folder the same way DropBox does. The plan is to launch the service next week.
There’s no information about any of the social features at this point, but hopefully we’ll see some of Google’s classic features enabled for the downloaded drive. It’d be nice to be able to easily share specific folders with Google contacts of mine, and even cooler to have an option to automatically open documents in Google Docs and edit them live with friends. If Google lets users easily post entire folders to Google+, it may become a hotbed for file sharing and perhaps privacy, as has happened in Russia with the VKontakte network. We’ll keep an eye on the social side of things and let you know.