Drive Time: Microsoft Live Drive vs. Google GDrive

By Steve Bryant  |  Posted 2006-07-10 Print this article Print

Update: The folks at LiveSide provide some more details on Microsoft's Live Drive and on something called Project M, which will apparently provide a single GUI to access any of your data from the Web to your desktop and other devices.

The GDrive rumor mill got a big turn today when a blogger stumbled upon code for Google's file storage service, code-named "Platypus (GDrive)."

According to the discovered Web page, Google's GDrive will be available for Macs, PCs and Linux machines. The software, ostensibly a downloadable application that will store files and upload them to a secure Web site, will include backup capabilities, a synchronization feature, secure access via a separate Web site and collaboration features.

There's no word on when GDrive may debut, though some observers have speculated it won't debut until 2007, if not later.

But while rumor and speculation swirls in the blogosphere and Google remains silent, Microsoft Chief Software Architect Ray Ozzie already publicly acknowledged plans for Microsoft's own online file storage solution back in April.

That service, called Live Drive, will take advantage of Microsoft's "huge server farms" to store all types of files, including audio and video, and allow that content to be "accessible from anywhere, on any device."

No word on when Live Drive will debut either. But Microsoft has been eyeing the storage space for at least two years. In 2004, Microsoft was rumored to be working on a hosted backup-and-restore service. That service was originally supposed to debut in 2005.

Microsoft and Google aren't the only Internet companies working on online file storage. Earlier this year, Amazon announced Amazon S3, or Simple Storage Service. But whereas GDrive and Live Drive seem to be consumer-focused applications, S3 is primarily a developer's tool.
The online storage space is also peppered with several smaller companies, such as XDrive and Strongspace. |

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