GDrive Terms of Service May Worry Business Users

By Wayne Rash  |  Posted 2012-04-28 Print this article Print


In any case, most recent devices can access either cloud service through their browsers, so if you€™re not otherwise supported, you€™ve got that.

To start using Google Drive on a computer, you follow a link to and click on the download button. You€™ll need your Google sign-on to install and use Google Drive. Once the software is installed, you€™ll have a folder on your desktop with the Google Drive logo.

Getting SkyDrive is a similar process: You go to and follow the instructions to download SkyDrive for your device. You€™ll need a Windows Live ID to accomplish this. With SkyDrive, your folder will appear in your personal Windows folder, although you can create a shortcut on your desktop. Clients for both services are reached through the app store for your mobile device.

Both services allow sharing of documents, photos, videos and the like. The biggest difference is that people you share with on Google will need to have access to Google Drive. With SkyDrive you can create a link that people can follow even if they don€™t use SkyDrive. If you use Microsoft Office OneNote, you€™ll find your notes in your SkyDrive.

Google Drive has been the subject of much hype on the blogosphere lately, with predictions that it spells doom for Dropbox, SkyDrive, iCloud and maybe Box. In reality, GDrive is nice, but it€™s not substantially nicer than anything else. While Google Drive is now linked directly to Google Docs, that only matters if you use Google Docs. If you don€™t€”and most people don€™t€”then Google Drive is yet another nice cloud storage option.

It€™s worth noting that there€™s been much discussion about Google€™s terms of service that seem to say that even though you retain ownership of the material you store on Google€™s services, the company has the right to use the material, including the right to display it in public. If you plan to use Google€™s Drive for your business, you should probably have your legal staff take a look at this. But that caution is true of any cloud service you use.

If I had to pick one of these services at this point in time, it would be the new version of SkyDrive. I can find a SkyDrive client for every device in my office, and they all work. That€™s something I can€™t do with Google Drive. But that may change, and if it does, then what matters is if the cloud service supports the devices you need.

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Wayne Rash Wayne Rash is a Senior Analyst for eWEEK Labs and runs the magazine's Washington Bureau. Prior to joining eWEEK as a Senior Writer on wireless technology, he was a Senior Contributing Editor and previously a Senior Analyst in the InfoWorld Test Center. He was also a reviewer for Federal Computer Week and Information Security Magazine. Previously, he ran the reviews and events departments at CMP's InternetWeek.

He is a retired naval officer, a former principal at American Management Systems and a long-time columnist for Byte Magazine. He is a regular contributor to Plane & Pilot Magazine and The Washington Post.

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