Whatever Became of GDrive?

By  |  Wednesday, July 8, 2009 at 10:45 am

No matter how cool Google’s Chrome OS turns out to be, chances are you’re not going to use it. The company says the OS will roll out on netbooks in the second half of 2010; even if said netbooks are major hits, the vast majority of us will go on using systems based on Windows, OS X, or Linux for a long time to come.

Which makes me wonder whatever happened to another Google big idea that could have a bigger impact much more quickly: GDrive. That’s the service that would give consumers a virtual hard drive on the Internet, letting them store all their stuff remotely. Google has never formally announced such a service, but rumors have persisted for years–here’s a Michael Arrington story from March, 2006–and clues that it’s in the works pop up every so often. It seems to be real, even though we don’t know when Google will release it–assuming it will someday.

There’s nothing inherently awe-inspiring about the idea of online storage: Services like i-Drive were around more than a decade ago, and Microsoft will give you 25GB of space in the form of a Windows Live SkyDrive right now. If GDrive is just another hunk of remote disk space, it would be no big whoop. But if Google gave you a lot of space and tightly integrated it with Gmail, Google Docs, and other Web apps, GDrive could look less like an old-fashioned online drive and more like an entirely Web-based OS that was reachable from any browser.

In pitching Chrome OS, Google says that people “want their data to be accessible to them wherever they are and not have to worry about losing their computer or forgetting to back up files.” That would seem to suggest that Chrome OS incorporates GDrive, or something like it. Maybe GDrive hasn’t shown up yet in part because it’s closely related to the Chrome OS project.

Which leaves me wondering whether Google could release a service that was, essentially, Chrome OS’s user interface and Web-based components–but in a form that work in any browser.  It could bring part of Chrome OS’s godness to the 99% of us who won’t be buying a Chrome netbook, and it could be really cool…

 
18 Comments


Read more: , ,

3 Comments For This Post

  1. Rick Says:

    http://www.getgspace.com/ – Something like this?

  2. Andy Says:

    Maybe GDrive is what will become of this?
    http://www.google.com/support/sites/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=98360

  3. Daniel Says:

    I do think GDrive would be a more profitable endeavor. The problem with software is that it’s a commodity, and one that can theoretically be duplicated infinitely at no practical cost. By providing computer services (as opposed to commodities), computer companies will ensure they stay relevant. The way they’re doing that now is providing commodities of ever-increasing value, but that can only go on for so long, as dictated by consumer behavior.

    The trick to this OS is that although it’s virtually guaranteed to be free, it’s also specifically designed so that you will want to store your files on the cloud (since that’s where it’s intended to make you spend most of your time anyway). And that’s where they can make their money (probably by advertising, since it’s Google). Considering it’s really just a stripped-down Linux distro with Chrome installed, the extra cost to them to get this running is negligible, but I do see a GDrive launch in the works after this gets its legs.

    But will it take a chunk out of Microsoft (as suggested at http://www.newsy.com/videos/google_gears_up_for_os)? I’m doubtful, honestly.

15 Trackbacks For This Post

  1. Web Media Daily – July 8, 2009 | Reinventing Yourself... Says:

    [...] Whatever Became of GDrive?…   technologizer [...]

  2. Пресата presata.com» Blog Archive » Giz Explains: What the Hell’s Google Chrome OS? [Giz Explains] Says:

    [...] using burgasweb.com languages. (It, too, is running burgasweb.comKit on top of Linux kernel.) As Harry McCracken notes, it seems like a prime opportunity for Google’s long rumored GDrive online storage to finally [...]

  3. Giz Explains: What the Hell’s Google Chrome OS? [Giz Explains] | HyipLife.com Says:

    [...] are written simply using web languages. (It, too, is running WebKit on top of Linux kernel.) As Harry McCracken notes, it seems like a prime opportunity for Google’s long rumored GDrive online storage to finally [...]

  4. Giz Explains: What the Hell’s Google Chrome OS? [Giz Explains] Says:

    [...] are written simply using web languages. (It, too, is running WebKit on top of Linux kernel.) As Harry McCracken notes, it seems like a prime opportunity for Google’s long rumored GDrive online storage to finally [...]

  5. We R Pirates » Blog Archive » Giz Explains: What the Hell’s Google Chrome OS? [Giz Explains] Says:

    [...] are written simply using web languages. (It, too, is running WebKit on top of Linux kernel.) As Harry McCracken notes, it seems like a prime opportunity for Google’s long rumored GDrive online storage to finally [...]

  6. Giz Explains: What the Hell’s Google Chrome OS? [Giz Explains] | dv8-designs Says:

    [...] are written simply using web languages. (It, too, is running WebKit on top of Linux kernel.) As Harry McCracken notes, it seems like a prime opportunity for Google’s long rumored GDrive online storage to finally [...]

  7. Giz Explains: What the Hell’s Google Chrome OS? [Giz Explains] « Tech Pulse! Says:

    [...] are written simply using web languages. (It, too, is running WebKit on top of Linux kernel.) As Harry McCracken notes, it seems like a prime opportunity for Google’s long rumored GDrive online storage to finally [...]

  8. Giz Explains: What the Hell’s Google Chrome OS? [Giz Explains] | NerdAccess Says:

    [...] are written simply using web languages. (It, too, is running WebKit on top of Linux kernel.) As Harry McCracken notes, it seems like a prime opportunity for Google’s long rumored GDrive online storage to finally [...]

  9. G Whiz PC Repair Blog » Blog Archive » Giz Explains: What the Hell’s Google Chrome OS? Says:

    [...] are written simply using web languages. (It, too, is running WebKit on top of Linux kernel.) As Harry McCracken notes, it seems like a prime opportunity for Google’s long rumored GDrive online storage to finally [...]

  10. Helvetica vs. Times » Giz Explains: What the Hell’s Google Chrome OS?: Says:

    [...] are written simply using web languages. (It, too, is running WebKit on top of Linux kernel.) As Harry McCracken notes, it seems like a prime opportunity for Google’s long rumored GDrive online storage to finally [...]

  11. Giz Explains: What the Hell’s Google Chrome OS? | funwithgadgets.net Says:

    [...] are written simply using web languages. (It, too, is running WebKit on top of Linux kernel.) As Harry McCracken notes, it seems like a prime opportunity for Google’s long rumored GDrive online storage to finally [...]

  12. Condensed Knowledge – July 12, 2009 – Lists - Raoul Pop Says:

    [...] Whatever Became of GDrive? [...]

  13. Chrome OS on the way, great, now where is Gdrive? at tom.morr.is Says:

    [...] With Chrome OS announced and due at some point next year, you have to wonder where the often hinted at Gdrive is. [...]

  14. Google’s New Online Storage Deal: Much Cheaper | Technologizer Says:

    [...] tend to use Flickr or SmugMug.) What would really change everything would be Google rolling out the mythical Gdrive–a true hard drive in the sky–at the prices it’s charging for Gmail and Picasa. [...]

  15. A Little Closer to Gdrive: Google Docs Stores Files of All Sorts Says:

    [...] all: News People have been talking about Gdrive–a theoretical online storage service from Google–for eons. It still isn’t here, [...]