What You Should Know About Google Drive Cloud Storage

After a long development program, Google Drive has finally been released to general availability. But what should customers know about the platform before they start using it?

It might have taken awhile, but finally, Google Drive has launched. Google has been talking about its intention to introduce a cloud storage service for at least six years. And rumors about the imminent release of a storage solution to take on companies like Box and Dropbox started percolating vigorously in the past few weeks.

On April 24, Google finally confirmed that it was, in fact, working on a storage offering and perhaps even better, it was making it available to customers in the coming weeks.

Now that the curtain has been pulled back, however, Google must begin the process of informing the world about why they might want to use Google Drive. Sure, it's a cloud-storage offering that works on just about any platform, but there's much more to it than that. But before any consumer or even enterprise user jumps onto the Google Drive bandwagon, they'll need to know more about the solution.

To help out, we've decided to take a look at some of the finer points of Google Drive to help inform would-be users about why they might or might not want to sign up for the service when it launches in the coming weeks.

Check it out:

1. It's not unique

Let's just get the simple truth out of the way first: Google Drive is in no way unique. There are a host of cloud-based storage solutions across the Web, including Dropbox, Box and Amazon's cloud services, that perform the same function. But Google is Google. And that alone makes this offering somewhat special.

2. 5GB of free storage

One of the nicest things about Google Drive is that it provides ample storage for what customers need. From video to music to documents, users can save up to 5GB of content at no charge. Considering how many users will likely sign up for Google Drive, that's an awfully large amount of storage Google is willing to provide at no charge.

3. Google has integrated into its existing solutions

As one might expect, Google has integrated Drive into nearly all of its prominent applications. Gmail users can send bulky attachments through Drive; Google Docs users will be able to collaborate on documents from within the platform; and Google+ users will find their videos and pictures in Drive instantly available on the social network. Google is big on integration, and it has proved it again with Drive.

4. Third-party apps play a crucial role

Google isn't establishing a walled garden with Drive. Instead, the company says that a host of third-party application providers will support the service, allowing users to store and share content across multiple platforms. That's important. In the online world having the ability to transfer data from one service to another is increasingly appealing to users. It's a welcome move by Google and its partners.

This article was originally published on 04-26-2012
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