back to article Google 'GDrive' revisits tech-pundit G-spot

The GDrive rumors have resurfaced. Yet again. And true to form, at least one tech pundit is predicting that Google's alleged online storage extravaganza will murder the personal computer. Talk of the ever-elusive GDrive first appeared in March 2006, when Google dropped a mention into a PowerPoint presentation intended for a …


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  1. This post has been deleted by its author

  2. paul brain


    I've already got a G-Drive , its called GmailFS and as long as any single file is under 20MB, it works a charm. It runs on the Penguin or BarmyBalmerOS and has 7GB ( and counting .. ) of cloud storage. ( Only complaint is that it is not represented as a drive letter on a wintendo system )

  3. jai

    cold day in hell

    before i let google store my data for me

    how long before they release the "feature" that allows anyone in the world to search for keywords within your documents?

  4. Anonymous Coward

    Grauniad = idiots

    "The Google Drive, or 'GDrive,' could kill off the desktop computer, which relies on a powerful hard drive," The Guardian burbled. "Instead a user's personal files and operating system could be stored on Google's own servers and accessed via the internet."

    Lets see...

    1. No computer when internet is down (or the service is down)

    2. you're trusting your data's security and privacy to someone else...

    3. 'powerful hard drive'?

    4. can you say 'hidden charges'?

    5. can you say 'advertising'?

    6. 'Powerful hard drive'? Since when do hard drives have CPUs? Did he mean the entire PC?

    etc etc.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    > Powerful hard drive'? Since when do hard drives have CPUs?

    They've had CPUs in for many years...

  6. Anonymous Coward

    Like the concept, not so sure about the supplier.

    I actually like this concept. It would suit a huge number of internerd users because it does much of what they need, it will be available in most places and at most times they need it (desktop or notebook Windows PCs aren't available 100% of the time, either because they're in the wrong place, they got a virus, whatever...), and it will probably be a whole lot less hassle than a real PC for Mom and Pop and the younger kids (no need to understand what's under the hood). Yes it won't suit power users but really how many of those are there over 25? Rik (in the first comment) seems to have understood and bought into the general concept already.

    Obviously the whole MS-dependent ecosystem will fight tooth and nail to preserve their investment in Windows desktops and laptops and thus preserve their future incomes, so don't expect to see much positive publicity in trade rags whose revenues depend on MS's continued success (especially as MS themselves keep trying with Office Live and related derivatives).

    Meanwhile, being run by Google brings it both advantages and risks which are so obvious I won't bother stating them here.

    What's rather sad about it in a way is that some of the nice people who set up now-vanished pioneering topquality PAYG ISP Metronet set up a remarkably similar service to this in the UK a year or two back; a networked file store called EweDrive which eventually became part of a "server based computing" service called Desktop on Demand, accessible from any sensible browser. I liked the idea although I wasn't a customer because Websense decided they were going to block it as "personal storage" which meant it was inaccesible to many folks on corporate networks eg me. And sadly the service closed after a year or so.

    It'll be interesting to see if any Google implementation of this concept gets hit by the Websense problem (what does Websense do about Amazon S3 etc?).

  7. William

    Service already exists

    This service already exists, Dropbox (which syncs files across all machines and stores them on their servers) and ZumoDrive (holds files all on a server and only downloads them to a client machine when requested) - i.e. handy for netbooks with smaller drives.

  8. Stuart
    Thumb Up

    I know El Reg doen't like "Wired" but,

    They agree with you on this, and go to some length to explain why:

  9. David Barrett Silver badge

    Extreme porn?

    No your honour.. those are not my files... there must be a mix up at google...

  10. b166er

    Be alright

    as an additional backup device, encrypted natch.

  11. Bill
    Thumb Down

    Sorry, but I'll pass

    Security, privacy, space, these are the things that concern me the most. I don't need a roaming profile, I have a roaming PC for that. I don't like the idea that someone somewhere can "index" my files so that they could, possibly, at a later date of course, be searchable in a search engine, very scary. And what about space??? Can I have 1TB+ of storage so that I can access my "home videos" on the go??? Oh and how long will it take to stream those said videos through either normal or mobile broadband? I'm going to need at least a gigabit connection to the internet.

    No thank you, I'll pass.

  12. jubtastic1

    On the bright side

    It will give us something to moan about for the next few decades while we pine for the good old days when Microsoft kept us employed with their shite software.

  13. GettinSadda

    Won't work...

    There is no way that this can work "as advertised", it cannot hold all the files that anyone needs to store on their PC.

    I have ~1TB of files on by PC at the moment, sure this may be more than average, but surely not uncommon (otherwise why can you buy drive > 1TB each).

    My ASDL link is pretty nippy managing an effective 6-7Mbps downstream, but only ~400kbps upstream.

    So, if I install GDrive today, uploading all my files will fill the upstream pipe for quite a while:

    1TB = ~8,000,000,000,000 bits (they are storage TB, not TiB).

    If I transfer 409,600 bits per second that will be 19,531,250 seconds, or 325,521 minutes, or 5425 hours, which is 226 days.

    But now if can manage to devote my entire Internet connection to setting up GDrive for seven and a half months, what about when I want a file?

    There is no way that the Internet is going to cope with the amount of bandwidth that transferring everyones files backwards and forwards every time they are used. If bandwidth were that plentiful ISPs would not be capping everyone!

  14. Jonathan
    Thumb Up

    Or would you prefer 10G free from an English outfit?

    I recently interviewed with (sadly my OO Perl isn't up to snuff - okay, it's non-existent, but I learn fast ;) and their product seemed to be spot on to me.

  15. Anonymous Coward

    Privacy ? Security ?

    It's not beyond the wit of man to have an open source applet which does the full 128-bit encryption thing on data sent to the GDrive ... only you and your key can access the data in any meaningful sense.

    Of course it would scare the pants off the UK security services as (1) it'll be hosted outside the UK, and more importantly (b) if a person ONLY uses GDrive, and makes sure they only access it via a LiveCD distro, then it's impossible for the security services to find anything at all.

    I think we need a new pair of icons (fnarr fnarr) "Good Google", "Bad Google" ....

  16. Brutus

    We're not typical users

    What the commenter on this site frequently forget - when lambasting the latest news from Google, MS, Apple or whoever - is that we are a self-selecting group of tech-heads. We tend to have a far greater interest in, and understanding of, computing and related issues than the average 'information user' i.e. Joe Public.

    Joe (and Jane) Public has already taken to online storage in a big way: look at Flickr and YouTube for example. As Paul mentions earlier, GMail is a fine file store for anything but the largest data packages.

    The public aren't really bothered about the possibility of Google indexing everything that they've posted on the net, partly because they're unaware and partly because they really aren't worried - who cares if Google can tell the world that there is a photo of Aunt Bessie falling in the swimming pool.

    Google aren't suggesting that 'Info workers' such as ourselves move our entire data loads onto their servers (as has already been pointed out the confidentialty and access issues are enormous), but I can easily see 'the masses' going for it in a big way.

    I just feel sorry for Sun, they were too far ahead of the curve!

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    I for one welcome our data-hoarding overlords

    I don't see the problem here, what could possibly go wrong with having every aspect of your digital life in one place, entrusted in one company?

    No ones going to guess your password....... is it 'Orang3'? 'Purp1e'? Ummmm, 'password'? What about 'ilovethegooners'?

  18. Steve Mason


    let's not even go into gamers needs ;-)

  19. Robert Steadman

    But what happens if..

    ..they decide the service is no longer profitable and shut it down at a month's notice - like Lycos is doing to thier webmail service?

  20. Patrick O'Reilly
    Black Helicopters

    Ha Ha Ha

    My money is on something more about this surfacing April 1

  21. Bob

    I'll go the simple root, my mum can use google

    I have a very simple alternative to GDrive, it's called a soekris box hung off my fat pipe.

    Always on, uses no power worth speaking of, I don't have to worry about another company indexing my data and if the security fails or if the server is down I can only blame myself.

    Of course I work in IT and know how to do all this, so for people like my mum GDrive seems a good place to stick pictures of aunt Bessie.

    Also, to an AC above: "Yes it won't suit power users but really how many of those are there over 25?" ??

    I would definately consider myself a power user and I'm 29, ignoring the point that the internet was created by people who are very much older than me... I think there are quite a few of us myself...

    Always go to the old guy with the beard if you can't work out how to do something dodgy in IT, the kids will direct you to the programs that the old guy wrote.

  22. Eddie Edwards
    Thumb Up

    Old news

    My hard-drive already acts as a cache for content that's on the internet. I can also put content on the internet.

    CLEARLY, I can now get rid of my hard drive.

  23. JimS

    Great idea. In a decade or so.

    Considering how rubbish most connections to the internet in the UK are (iirc the US isn't much better, esp rural areas), especially upload speeds, this won't work until connections are both quick and rock steady.

    It'll take way too long to initially upload several GBs of files for most people. It's much more convienient to keep most files locally and only upload files where sharing between devices/locations is necessary. Like most people already do.

    I don't even want to imagine how slow running an OS over an internet connection will be...

    Until internet connections give the same upload as download and become rock steady, then the GDrive is a pointless exercise.

    Do these people live in 'cloud' cuckoo land?!?

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters

    re: privacy, extreme porn & general paranoia

    of course it would also make it much easier for stuff to be "found" in your online storage space...

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Rubbish Upload Speeds

    In the UK.

    I tried to set up some online storage for photos, hi-res Raw files, may 20-30 gigs.

    Not a chance, with the upload speeds I've got on Virgin it was going to take about 4 years.

    Can't see gmail working, even if you get round the trust issues.

  26. Mark Grady

    Isn't this the same as LiveDrive

    Their ssytem is in Beta ... will it turn into a Google acquisition to bring the project to market faster?

    Who cares...

  27. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    @AC 23:09

    Hard drives have electronic controllers, which contain several IC chips. These chips are not CPUs (Central Processing Units).

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It's ok for Plebs but not for Nerds

    Being a nerd myself, I can't see this catching on with IT professionals at all. I personally couldn't stand writing code that I had to compile from a USB stick every time so I have to have files on a speedy, defragged harddrive. I work in the games industry and we've tried referencing gigabytes of textures for game levels over Gigabit networks and it still doesn't perform well enough so internet speeds are never going to be useful to us.

    I certainly can't see PC (or console games for that matter) running directly from an internet connection. They'll always cache the data to a local store of some description.

    The Plebs on the other hand are going to love this... Right up until the number of people storing illegal files on it reaches a critical mass. Then the subsequent change in the law means everyones files are open to scrutiny by anyone in the music or movie industry who wants a peek.

    I'll personally keep my music on my MP3 player, my photos on a harddrive, lower quality copies on Flickr and my online bank statements in a TrueCrypt volume locked in the safe :o)

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