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Google Drive expected to launch today. What competitors have to say about it

April 24, 2012
google building

If you’ve been paying a close watch on the reports on Google’s cloud storage service, the fabled Google Drive, you are probably aware of the rumors that indicate today as a possible launch date of the cloud service. Customers, who will soon get to choose from the free version or the premium version of G-Drive, will surely welcome yet another cloud storage solution. But what do people in the industry think about Google Drive?

Talking to ZDNET’s Rachel King, Citrix’ vice president and general manager of data sharing, Jesse Lipson, said that Google has a long history of introducing products late in the game, in most cases as a response to the success that the competitors are boasting. Nevertheless, Lipson thinks that Google is adept at playing catch up and can still succeed, thanks to the vast resources that the company can pour into a project.

Although the market is already saturated with players that are offering cloud storage solutions, Google will have a huge advantage if it integrates Google Drive into its other services and products. “Integration with Google Docs, Google Apps and Gmail may give it an advantage –- consumers start using the service because it integrates and then transfer the rest of their content to that same provider,” he explained.  Lipson concluded by saying that the tight integration means Google Drive can be very successful in the enterprise market.

One competitor thinks that Google Drive will only exacerbate the problem created by the emergence of consumer file sharing services. Yorgen Edholm, the CEO and president of Accellion, a file transfer and collaboration solutions providers for enterprises, said that “The introduction of yet another unmanaged cloud file storage solution, this time from a major industry player such as Google, is a[n] IT security nightmare.” This is something that Dropbox and iCloud, according to Edholm, are partly to blame for, as well.

Surprisingly, kinder words about Google Drive were uttered by one the service’s staunchest competitors, Aaron Levie, the CEO and co-founder of Box. Levie isn’t concerned about the impact of Google Drive on Box’s own cloud storage solution and understands that the market is very attractive right now for Google to try and get a bite of the share. “Our laser focus on the security, scalability, collaboration and cross-platform support that businesses require means that we’ll continue to be extremely competitive in the enterprise market,” Levie said confidently.

According to Reuters’ sources, Google Drive will offer 5GB of free online storage, with a maximum of 100GB storage for the premium account. It’s still unknown yet how much Google will charge for the premium account, but we should get an official confirmation today if the rumors are accurate.

Meanwhile, in totally unrelated news, two of Google Drive’s most important competitors announced big new improvements to their service – Dropbox introduced universal link sharing, while Microsoft revamped Skydrive and debuted new Windows and Mac apps. What a coincidence, huh?