Mary Jo Foley spotted an interesting reference in the Ray Ozzie profile in Fortune mentioned yesterday:
Microsoft is planning to use its server farms to offer anyone huge amounts of online storage of digital data. It even has a name for that future service: Live Drive. With Live Drive, all your information – movies, music, tax information, a high-definition videoconference you had with your grandmother, whatever – could be accessible from anywhere, on any device.
Google apparently has similar plans. An internal memo accidentally posted online in March spoke of company efforts to “store 100 percent of user data” and mentions an unannounced Net-storage system called GDrive.
and has more details in Microsoft Readies Storage Service to Rival Google’s ‘Gdrive’:
The MSN team is working on a new Windows Live service, code-named Live Drive, that will provide users with a virtual hard drive for storing hosted personal data.
Microsoft has been eyeing the hosted storage space for at least two years. In 2004, Microsoft was rumored to be readying a hosted backup-and-restore service for SOHO (small office/home office) and consumer customers.
Microsoft officials did not respond by the time this article was published to further questions regarding Live Drive’s availability and planned target audience.
Garett Rogers has more on GDrive and as some of the commenters observe, hosted online storage offerings have been around since the dotcom bubble and are still kicking around today. Aside from convincing customers to trust someone else with their data, the hard part is how to make money. The free services of the 90′s started charging fees or went out of business and I expect any such offering today would end up the same way.