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By Ezra Brook
May 11, 2012

What’s on the Google Drive Menu?

The rumors have been set to rest. They have been proven true. The Google Drive has been developed at the Sydney office and launched on 24th of April 2012. The consensus is that there are ten cloud products out in the market that can give it a run for the money. So, one can presume that a gauntlet has been thrown and the competition has been challenged. It seems that the challenge has been accepted as two of the biggest competitors have announced enhancements to their cloud service products.

What is the market saying? Some experts are sounding a warning that Google’s entry into the market will increase the pressure on the market and the larger competitor (in this case Google) will attempt to control the game. A few even predict that Google Drive will kill the competition! Others point out that Google Drive menu is not very new. It offers everything that the others are offering. But, some say the 5GB of free space on sign up at Google Drive as an important differentiating factor. But, other providers are offering the same or more storage space. While that does not give a true picture of Google Drive, it must be pointed out that there are a few feature-lacks in Google Drive that differentiates the competition.

Search and Image Recognition are two great features
Google Drive is a cloud service that is designed to provider users access to their files and folders at granular levels from anywhere in the world, anytime, and from any kind of device. All files stored online can be called up and viewed on desktops, laptops, tablets, smartphones and other kinds of computing devices using GoogleDocs. The power of the Google search engine is integrated into the service to facilitate document based keyword search. The image recognition feature and the Optical Character Recognition software extend the search capabilities of the search engine.

Google Drive proposes to provide its users with a complete “Google” experience. Email attachments can be culled out from within the drive and emails can be generated by navigating from one application to another.

Competitively Priced
Google Drive is competitive on pricing. Customers need to pay only when they sign up for a 25 GB account at an almost unbelievably low rate of just $2.50 per month. 100 GB of storage costs at just $5 per month, and one terabyte storage at $50 per month. This certainly leaves the competition gasping!

Google Drive has something to offer the mobile enterprise. The drive can be accessed from PC, Mac, tablets and Smartphones and it has been integrated with Androids. An iPhone and iPad facilities are in the pipeline. But, other competitors are well ahead in the mobile apps area.

Critics of Google Drive have been quick to point out the problems:

  •  Google Drive uses third party Synchronization tools
  • All documents have to be uploaded to GoogleDocs and hence suffers from all the problems of GoogleDocs
  • It will exacerbate the security problems that come with unmanaged consumer file sharing services
  • No Multi-folder sync – a special folder (e.g. “GDrive”) should be created by the user, and then files and folders will need to be dragged and dropped into that folder
  • Files can not be shared from a desktop
  • No music streaming – Google Drive allows you to store music, however, it does not allow you to play your music in the Web

On the positive side, Google Drive allows read-only sharing just like some of the competitors. This is specially handy when you want to share important documents without the ability to edit the files.

For further analysis of Google Drive, check out Laura Yecies’ (SugarSync CEO), blog post. Click here to read.

Are you considering to use some other solution? Check out the top ranked companies.

Do you use or plan to use Google Drive? Please comment below.

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