Google's GDrive debuts, sort of

On the Official Google Docs Blog, Google has announced that over the next few weeks, they will be rolling out the ability for users to store all types of files in the cloud. Before this, you could only store Google Docs and PDFs (in addition to photos in Picasa). Now, you will be able to upload any file to the cloud, assuming it's less than 250MB. The advantage of such an offering is the ability to access those files from any PC with an Internet connection.

Google is giving 1GB of free storage for any files that are not converted into the Google Docs format. You can also purchase additional space for $0.25 a GB/year, making it a very compelling alternative to other cloud storage solutions. The space that you purchase will work across all Google Apps (including Picasa). People who currently use Google Docs seem like the ones who are most likely to take advantage of this new storage system. However, as it stands, it seems unlikely that it will be able compete with Microsoft's 25GB SkyDrive, or Dropbox's 2GB offerings.

Unfortunately, as much as the above sounds like the infamous GDrive that the world has been patiently awaiting, TechCrunch's Michael Arrington has written otherwise. "'This is not GDrive' said Google Docs product manager Vijay Bangaru yesterday while showing me something that sure does look exactly like the fabled GDrive. 'How is it different,' I asked. 'That's hard to say, because GDrive doesn't exist.'"

It's unclear what Google plans to accomplish with this new service. The only thing that makes sense is to say that this is some sort of test run for a future GDrive. Rest assured, there are sure to be third-party applications in the near future (such as Memeo Connect) that will allow users to interface with this new bit of cloud storage, and when they do become available, expect "GDrive," or whatever this thing is, to gain popularity.

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