They may be hemorrhaging jobs and business plans, but that didn’t stop the folks at AOL from releasing their new online storage product, Xdrive, on Wednesday. And by releasing, I mean giving away for free. And by free, I mean that’s all AOL seems to know how to do these days. Because once you start giving one thing away, sweetheart …
Xdrive offers 5GB of free storage to anyone with an AOL or AIM screen name. AOL bought Xdrive in August 2005.
Update: As a commenter pointed out, Xdrive still costs $10 per month. It will be free starting in September. If you read the AOL press release closely (which I didn’t), you’ll see it says AOL “leads industry in announcing” disruptive free storage offering.
AOL isn’t the only Internet giant making moves in this market. Google is rumored to be working on an online storage service code-named “Platypus/GDrive.” Given Google’s reputation for disrupting markets and its massive storage capacity, GDrive would likely offer significantly more storage space than AOL’s Xdrive. What’s more, according to notes from Google execs, Google would use the product as leverage against Microsoft’s desktop hegemony.
Microsoft, meanwhile, is working on something called LiveDrive or SkyDrive. I don’t know what the correct product name is. But let’s be honest. Not even Microsoft knows what the hell its products are called.