Sacré bleu! Google's French enterprise blog has spilled the beans on Google Drive.
The French blog post, which went live this morning and was quickly taken down, was translated by Austrian software developer Gerwin Strum and posted onto his Google+ homepage, where it was later discovered by TechCrunch. The announcement has since been posted to Google's official blog. As expected, Google Drive is offering users 5GB of free storage space that can be upgraded to 25GB for just $2.50 per month, 100GB for $5 a month or 1TB for $50 a month.
But Drive offers uniquely Google-esque features as well. According to the translated blog post, it directly integrates Google Docs into its system to allow your co-workers to see changes and edits that you make to documents, spreadsheets and presentations as they happen. Such integration also lets authorized users post comments on PDFs, images, videos and other media stored on Drive, making it easier to collaborate.
Drive also incorporates some of Google's more advanced search algorithms to give users more options for finding their uploaded data. For example, Drive's search functionality is capable of scanning images for words and text that can help users more easily identify images uploaded from their mobile devices. So if you take a picture of this morning's Boston Globe, for instance, you'll be able to search for "Boston Globe" in the program and it will retrieve the proper image. Similarly, Google is starting to implement image recognition for well-known images, so if you take a picture of the Statue of Liberty, for instance, you'll be able to find it by searching for "Statue of Liberty" in Google Drive without even labeling it.
And finally, Drive also lets users open up more than 30 types of documents in their Web browsers, including Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop, even if those programs aren't installed into your PC or mobile device. This is similar to the way that users on Google Docs can create Word and Excel files on their PCs even if they haven't installed Office.
Although Google Drive is primarily a consumer cloud data storage application, it does include some enterprise features to help IT departments manage user data, including the ability to centrally manage data through a Google Apps control interface, automatic encryption of data that's sent between user Web browsers and Google cloud servers, and a data replication feature that copies data onto multiple data centers to ensure it can always be accessed if one of Google's data centers goes down.
Google Drive will be available for download onto Macs, PCs and Android-based devices from the time it launches. The company says that it is also working on a version specifically for iPhones and iPads that will be released in the coming weeks.
Read more about data center in Network World's Data Center section.