Our very own Kit Dotson raised the issue of piracy and how certain features of the new cloud service could be exploited, potentially leading to a lot of legal trouble for Google.
A question more relevant to Drive’s near-term outlook is whether or not it will be able to gain sufficient traction, considering that its biggest competitors have a head start of several years.
Charlie Wood, the found CEO of Spanning, a company that bases its offerings on Google Apps, believes that the answer for whether or not Google Drive can gain early traction is yes. And he says the existing ecosystem around Drive is one of if not the biggest factors that will determine the outcome in the longer run.
Wood’s point of view is quite simple, and based wholly upon the sheer popularity of G-Apps among users.
“We’ve studied the behavior of thousands of Google Apps customers, and have seen that they already use Google Docs to store and share files (beyond the “native” docs created by Google’s word processing, spreadsheet, and presentation web apps). In fact, 53% of the docs we back up for our customers are these “non-native” files. So there’s clearly demand from business users to be able to store and share files in the cloud.”
Drive fits in by making the overall experience even more user friendly than it is now. The key factor is the same functionality Dropbox has adopted: providing the capability to sync a file by simply dragging it into a designated folder (here’s a video tutorial that covers the nuts and bolts).
This is where the ecosystem comes in. The user can upload an updated Word document to G-Docs even faster, and backup that paper using a tool like Spanning Backup. The company announced the offering right after Drive’s official launch, and hopes to get its share of the spoils by rounding out the cloud storage aspect of Google’s latest app.