Google Drive: Hard to download, but free (as in beer)

Google Drive is here! You can now download the cloudy hard drive, which comes with 5 GB for free. As expected, Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) is going head-to-head with Dropbox,, SkyDrive, and a gaggle of others, but it's not quite available for everyone yet. In IT Blogwatch, bloggers' heads spin at a plethora of cloud storage choices.
[Updated with yet more chatter, comment, and comparison]
By Richi Jennings: Your humble blogwatcher curated these bloggy bits for your entertainment. Not to mention: Saving Prince of Persia’s 1989-era Source Code...
Lucas Mearian has all the facts:

[The] Google Drive cloud storage service offer[s] users 5GB of free space...[who] can upgrade to 25GB for $2.49/month, 100GB for $4.99...1TB for $49.99. ... [Y]our Gmail account storage will also expand to 25GB.
There will be a Web-based file interface that offers access to 30 different file types. ... Google will launch apps for PCs, Macs and Android...devices. The company expects to launch an iOS app.   

Serenity Caldwell gets down to business:

I found Google Drive fairly simple to set can enable it from...a Google Apps business account without too much fuss. ... Once you sign up, Drive will replace your Docs tab on the Web...[and] move a few things around.
Google Drive may prove to be more popular. ... It has a built-in base of Gmail users, and Google Docs integration is pretty great. ... Folder creation and file movement is vastly simpler...and it’s certainly nice to have for important documents I use often.   

Perhaps Google's Sundar Pichai went to Scotland on vacation:

Google Drive [is] a place where you can create, share, collaborate, and keep all of your stuff. ... Google Docs is built right into Google Drive. ... You can access your stuff...on the web, in your home, at the office...and from all of your devices. ... Search by keyword and filter by file type, owner and more [including] text in scanned documents using...OCR.
You can attach photos from Drive to posts in Google+, and soon you’ll be able to attach stuff from Drive directly to emails. ... This is just the beginning for Google Drive. ... Get started with Drive today at   

Jared Newman dares to compare:

  • SkyDrive offers the most free storage at 7GB, and [existing] users...can get 25 GB free for a limited time.
  • Google Drive undercuts all of its competitors on monthly pricing, but cheaper on an annual basis.
  • SugarSync...can sync to any...folder, but SkyDrive allows access to an entire remote Windows PC. ...
  • Watch out for file size limits. SugarSync doesn't have any...and Google Drive's 10GB is much more generous than other[s]. ...
  • [Neither] Google [nor] Microsoft...supports the other's mobile platform.   

Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols waxes enthusiastic:

Google Drive is insanely fast. With my 100Mbps down and 6Mbps up connection I was seeing uploads close to [6Mbps] and downloads as fast as 20.
Google is trying to make Google Drive more than just a direct competitor for...other cloud storage providers. ... Google Drive is so well-integrated with Google Docs that its subsumed it. ... Google Drive can be used as the center of your cloud-based office work...a powerful group work tool. ... You can also send...Drive links via Gmail in lieu of sending clients massive [attachments]. ... [It] automatically backs up your documents as you change them [giving] simple, but effective version control. ... Best of all, this works extremely smoothly. ... Additional office and creative programs are already available specifically for use with Google Drive.
I’ve barely touched the surface...but I already know this is a ground-breaking service...if I were Microsoft I’d be worried about...Office 365 and SharePoint Online. ... I think it shows Google going after Microsoft’s Fort Knox: the office suite. ... But, until there’s a native Linux client, I’m not retiring Dropbox.   

Update: But Peter Smith isn't excited:

I was a bit disoriented...[it] defaulted to sorting my documents alphabetically...while I had Google Docs set to sort by date. ... [It] feels very similar to Dropbox or Zumodrive...your Google Drive directory shows up in the same list with Documents, Desktop and other standard Windows directories...[and there's] an Android app that, again, seems very much like the one Dropbox offers.
If you're a Dropbox user I see no reason to switch, but the two co-exist without a problem. ... I guess I bought into all the [pre-launch] hype...because now that it's here my reaction is: "That's it?" ... So I'll just add my 5 the free space I get from Dropbox and Skydrive and ... At least I have cloud redundancy to spare, now!

Update 2: Preston Gralla says SugarSync beats Google Drive:

[W]hat happens if there are folders that you don't...want always stored in the cloud? ... In SugarSync, simply indicate which folders you want synced, and they get synced...much easier than with Google Drive.
I don't want all folders to sync to all devices, and [sometimes] I only want the folders stored...and not synced. ... Doing this in SugarSync is quite easy. ... It's possible to do this in Google Drive, but not nearly as easily [nor] completely.
To sync files and have to create new folders under the...Google Drive folder...[which] can make a well-ordered existence confusing. ... With SugarSync, you keep your existing folder structure.

And Finally...
Saving Prince of Persia’s 1989-era Source Code

[hat tip: Raymond Chen]

Don't miss out on IT Blogwatch:

Richi Jennings, your humble blogwatcher

Richi Jennings is an independent analyst/consultant, specializing in blogging, email, and security. He's the creator and main author of Computerworld's IT Blogwatch, for which he has won ASBPE and Neal awards. He also writes The Long View for IDG Enterprise. A cross-functional IT geek since 1985, you can read Richi's full profile and disclosure of his industry affiliations.

Copyright © 2012 IDG Communications, Inc.

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