There have been rumors about a mythical Google G Drive service making the rounds for years — and by all accounts the company was working on a service that would let users upload files to the cloud so they could be accessed on any computer. But as Steven Levy outlines in his book on Google, In The Plex, the project was killed when Google determined that the future wasn’t in files at all.
If you think about it, over the last few years Google has sort of gone ahead and created a sort of online storage solution… for certain types of media. You can create or upload documents using Google Docs. You can upload your pictures to Picasa Web. You can upload as many as 20,000 songs to Google Music. And you can upload as much video as you like to YouTube.
Now The Wall Street Journal reports that Google is preparing to launch Google Drive — a service that lets users store photos, documents and videos online and easily share them with other users. In other words, Google Drive sounds a lot like what Google already offers.
That’s not to say that Google couldn’t do a better job of bringing all of its online services closer together to give you something that would look a lot more like… Apple iCloud.
But I’d be very surprised if Google actually created a Dropbox or Box style service that simply provides users with disk space on a remote server to upload all the files on their computers. Because it’s not a very Google-like thing to do.
Instead, it seems likely that Google wants users to star thinking of their data as pictures, movies, or documents rather than JPGs, AVIs or PDFs.
Ultimately I suspect the goal is to get you to think of your media as something that’s stored online and synchronized with your computers rather than the other way around — because the more you use the web the more Google makes money. That’s why the company can afford to give away “free” disk space and services for email, documents, music, movies, pictures and more.