Google Web Drive Silliness

January 27, 2009

What’s the big deal about the Google Web Drive. A couple of years ago a programmer developed the Gmail drive shell. The unauthorized application converted Gmail to a drive letter. I could drag a file to the GMail Drive shell icon and plonk my file as a message in my Gmail account. Google would break GMail Drive shell. The developer would fix GMail Drive shell. You can still find this unauthorized Google service here. I just got tired of this.

At the time in 2005 or 2006, it was quite clear to me that Google had storage plans. Otherwise, why hassle a person adding a useful function to Gmail? Google’s too busy to fiddle with this level of programming granularity. As you know, regular Gmail runs on top of other, far more sophisticated Google plumbing. Based on my research, the GOOG can deploy a number of nifty functions, applications, and services without much effort. I recall that it released Recommendations within 48 hours of the change in ownership.

Rumors of a Google Web Drive have been appearing in my newsreader and I have ignored them. Old news. In fact, the rumor was not even in the category of “sort of interesting” until I read Scott Gilbertson’s “Why a Google Web Drive Won’t Kill Windows, the PC or Anything Else” here. Like much of the info in Wired’s publications, there’s some good information and some commentary with which I don’t agree. The point of the story is to use the term “GDrive” to refer to the service. Obviously the original GMail Drive shell developer has dropped off the radar at least for Wired. The person behind probably would prefer to be on Wired’s radar. But the Wired writers are indeed busy working in the midst of cutbacks and budget machinations.

In my opinion, the argument of the article is that I will have quite a few options for saving data to the cloud. Mr. Gilbertson reminded me that trust is one concern and

The other big issue with online storage is that, for most of us, documents like spreadsheets, word processor files and the other formats that Google Docs understands are not what’s taking up the majority of space on our drives.

My thought is that the significance of a GDrive is that it is one more service that makes life easy for the Google centric. Google doesn’t have to do much work to provide a GDrive. It is timing. I think Google has decided that it is tactically advisable to add another convenience to the Google service. Whether this GDrive becomes part of Google Apps or finds its way into any function is not clear. What is clear is that incremental step by incremental step, Google is put honey in the pot. With Google’s market share and viral marketing expertise, those wanting this convenience will find their way to Google. Once at Google, it’s one more hook to keep the customer in the Google fold. For competitors, Google’s incremental approach to capturing markets is a pain in the backside. Google doesn’t give competitors a big target at which to shoot. Google doesn’t really move very quickly. Google is a pretty savvy outfit.

For me, the big question is when, not if. Then I want to know, “What will the competitors do to keep Google from poaching their customers?” My first reaction is, “Not much.” It takes money and technology to ace the GOOG. Technology may not be the problem. Money may be the “great decider”.

Stephen Arnold, January 27, 2009


One Response to “Google Web Drive Silliness”

  1. HonestLogic on June 18th, 2010 1:17 pm

    well that’s certainly a testimony to Big Brother Google’s desire to Rule the Internet… for the little guys who want to stay private, enjoy the drag and drop feature…. try the end-to-end encrypted service from ,… it not an email front… it’s a secure online webDAV server … no software to download …. works with any OS, Mac, PC, Linux …. the FREE accounts are big enough for iPhone, Droid, Blackberry and Palm users to sync calendars, contact lists and misc files…. enjoy and stay safe out there!!

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