Just as with an Apple product launch, Google has had to do next to nothing to create buzz around its long-awaited Google Drive cloud storage service. The latest: Google Drive will launch next week.
Of course, prognosticators have predicted much the same thing numerous times in the past, predictions that turned out to be wrong.
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"Frankly, Google has been out to lunch on this," said Frank Gillett, an analyst with Forrester Research. "The real question is: What took you guys so long? And have to got anything original or is this a 'me too' play."
Regardless of whether Google Drive does indeed launch soon, would-be users need to ask themselves a number of questions about their needs before choosing a cloud storage service.
Google Drive will likely have many of the same features of other cloud storage and file synchronization services, such as data encryption and the ability to edit a file on one device and have those changes automatically appear on every other device you own.
There are nuances, however, to each service. For example, are you the only keeper of a password, or will the service you choose also have a password -- and thus, access to your data if the government requests it?
It's also important to know where your applications and data live now; That could point you in the direction of the service best suited to your needs.
"Rather than running out and signing up for Google Drive, ask yourself where you already have your email and content. You may already have a relationship with a company that does what you need," Gillett said.
For example, if you're already using Apple's iLife suite of apps, then you can take advantage of iCloud. While iCloud doesn't offer synchronization of arbitrary files, it does support the iWorks suite.
"If you're deep into Microsoft and use the Windows Live Essentials or SkyDrive, that already does a chunk of those services," Gillett said. "If you're way into Google, then Google Drive will make sense."
Liz Conner, an analyst with market research firm IDC, said cloud storage and synchronization service users should know exactly what the service is doing with their data. For example, does it replicate your files to their cloud, or actually migrate the data?