Google Drive launched today.
For those who don’t know how to get to it, go to drive.google.com
But apart from the basic, “Oh, new app, let’s download and test it” response, Google Drive isn’t going anywhere.
1. Google Drive replaces Google Docs. Google Docs is a good service, but when it comes to real-world document editing, Google Docs fails simply because Google Docs and MS Word don’t play well together. That means after you create a document in Google Docs and download it to your computer, you spend another half hour correcting the text alignment, size, font etc. That’s a set back to Google Drive already. Google should have created a new service altogether, allowing people to link current services into Google Drive.
2. Google Drive means new service and new costs. Dropbox, once you start paying for it, asks for $100 for 50GB/year. That’s pretty steep. Compared to that, Google Drive will cost you $60 for 50GB/year. Sounds cheap right? well, some background here. A service called InSyncHQ has been operating for a past year or so, giving exactly the same service as Google Drive, connected to your Google Docs account and dependent on your Google Cloud storage that you could buy directly from Google for $0.25/GB/year. That translates to $12.5 for 50GB/year. Congrats to you if you have this storage, because as you can see, the price for Google storage just rose nearly 5 times. Way to go Google! You were supposed to rival Dropbox, you killed it.
3. For all those who do buy storage from Google at $0.25/GB/year, you’re few of the lucky ones. Google has ‘grandfathered’ you into this plan as long as you’re paying customers. If you ever falter in your payments, you’ll be ‘upgraded’ to the costlier plans. But Google, you’ve forgotten something. People all over the world have been ‘grandfathered’ into Dropbox. Heck, I used Dropbox even when I was in India, where the Internet feels like 56kbps even if they call it Broadband. So if you think playing these number games will get you customers, the answer you’re looking for is – No.
4. I used gDrive with my previous Google Account. It was a cool service that connect my Gmail to my computer (literally, a drive in My Computer in Windows) and gave me virtually unlimited storage (I had no idea what 18 Megapixel means). Google killed that service in order to design Google Drive. It took them 7 years. The best part, Google Drive for Apps is yet to launch. Which means that all the high-paying customers of Google Docs – the enterprise market, is still left in the lurch by Google.
Conclusion – Google, in one fell swoop, changed the way we use Google Docs, destroyed services like InSyncHQ, are one step closer to harassing their earliest paying customers and have done nothing, believe me, nothing, to hurt Dropbox’s standing in the market.
I’m expecting to hear the following quote from Google PR – “But you see, we’re not going after Dropbox, we’re going after Box.net!”
Pffh, yeah, right!