18 January 2009

Will "Google Web Drive" Launch in 2009?

When asked to make a wish list for Google in 2009, many of you said you wanted the legendary “GDrive” product to be released. Being the most eagerly anticipated Google product ever, with rumors literally going back years, could new evidence suggest that we may finally get to see it launched this year?

Some users of the recently released Picasa for Mac beta software were surprised to see a “Google Web Drive” option. “RickyB” posted to the Picasa help forums asking:

Not sure if this was left in by accident, but could you elaborate on exactly what the “Google Web Drive” option is? This appears when I right-click a folder and select “Move to Collection...” I’m hoping this is the beta of Google cloud storage solution. I’d love to beta test!

In the MacRumors forums, a user called “majorp” posted this screenshot:

I don’t own a Mac but stumbled across the above references after trying to access the old address, which used to redirect to the login page for the “www10” service which had previously been identified as GDrive in Google Apps. The address now returns a 404 error but its DNS entry has been updated to be a CNAME for the subdomain, suggesting that a Google “webdrive” client, other than Google’s internal-only Platypus client leaked in 2006, may now have been released into the wild.

Incidentally, a quick WHOIS check confirms that Google also owns the domain, although it was transferred from a domain squatter in October 2007.

To further add to the speculation, on the Google Operating System blog yesterday, Ionut pointed to a CNET interview with Gmail’s Product Manager Todd Jackson, who said (albeit in:

We know people’s file sizes are getting bigger. They want to share their files, keep them in the cloud, and not worry about which computer they’re on. Google wants to be solving these problems

And if Google wants to be solving those problems, that sounds like they want to be releasing Google Web Drive to me! Of course, it’s not possible to know for sure based on the above indications, but we’re curious how this will develop.

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