UK: Much of the coverage surrounding Google Drive, thus far, has been focussed on features and how it compares to other services. Ovum, however, believes there are bigger questions to be asked – ‘What is driving this new launch?’ Mark Little, principal analyst at Ovum considers Google’s motives:
“With Google Drive, Google has recognised the potential of shared cloud storage as a consumer hub or open platform that can be central to developing third party apps such as video editing, sending faxes, and creating websites, with potential for a far greater range of applications from its busy community of third party developers.
“For Google the platform potential of Google Drive is of strategic importance, leveraging its developer strengths and competitive pricing (50 percent cheaper than Apple’s iCloud in some cases) to drive penetration of its cloud offering via both consumer and enterprise channels. This is a major challenge to Apple’s iCloud and others whose propositions are selling cloud storage as a useful ancillary to using their applications. The Google Drive proposition is the other way around, offering cloud storage as a core service from which users can access an ecosystem of highly useful applications.
“Sharing is the other key element that will create beneficial network effects for Google Drive and as usual cause an IP headache for content owners: books can be scanned and shared and even edited using the Optical Character Recognition software, and it will be interesting to see how shared storage impacts legal movie services. This is a strong strategic move on Google’s behalf but I expect it to be ‘working’ on the iOS version for some time yet.”