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April 19, 2006

Microsoft readying online storage offering?

Posted by David Hunter at 8:19 PM ET.

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.

Filed under Coopetition, General Business, Google, Microsoft, Online Services, Windows Live, Windows Live SkyDrive

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5 Responses to “Microsoft readying online storage offering?”

  1. Computerworld Blogs Says:

    Microsoft tackles Tin Man troubles (and tank cosy)

    If only I had a brain. At least I have IT Blogwatch, in which Microsoft remakes itself — by inserting a new brain. Not to mention a tank cosy…

  2. It’s deja vu all over again! -- Microsoft News Tracker Says:

    [...] Microsoft’s Dare Obasanjo notices an uncanny familiarity in the Windows Live Drive story from yesterday: I have to agree with Mike Torres, 2006 is really 1998 in disguise. With the release of Google Page Creator, Google Finance, Google Calendar and the upcoming GDrive (aka Yahoo! GeoCities, Yahoo! Finance, Yahoo! Calendar and Yahoo! Briefcase knockoffs) it is now clear to me that Google’s master plan is to become Yahoo! 2.0. On the other hand, with some of the recent Windows Live announcements we seem to be giving the impression that we are chasing Google’s tail lights who in turn is chasing Yahoo! tail lights who in turn is chasing the tail lights of various ‘Web 2.0′ startups. Crazy. [...]

  3. Google GDrive sighted -- Microsoft News Tracker Says:

    [...] Curious blogger Corsin Carmichael has spotted evidence of Google’s online storage service (sometime called a “virtual hard drive”) called GDrive (codenamed Platypus) and Mary Jo Foley asks the directly Microsoft related question, Can Microsoft’s LiveDrive Be Far Behind? We’re still calling it “Live Drive” with a space and mentioned how these plans for online storage services were quite a trip down memory lane back in April. Filed under Coopetition, Google, General Business, Windows Live, Online Services, Microsoft, Windows Live Drive   [Permalink] [...]

  4. AOL offers users free 5GB of online storage -- Microsoft News Tracker Says:

    [...] Chris Gilmer over at AOL owned Download Squad reports the service will include permission based file sharing, scheduled automatic backups from your hard drive to Xdrive, automatic upload of e-mail attachments from AOL Mail or any non-AOL POP3 or IMAP-compatible mail providers and a lot more. … We did a comparison of 13 storage companies in January, but the market just keeps changing. Who will top today’s AOL announcement? Maybe it’ll be Windows Live Drive? Or Google Gdrive? There’s more by following the link, but, as always, the question the question is whether this kind of freebie really pays off in ad sales or other fee-based services. Filed under Coopetition, Google, General Business, AOL, Windows Live, Online Services, Ad-supported software, Microsoft, Windows Live Drive   [Permalink] [...]

  5. New beta of Windows Live Drive under new name SkyDrive -- Microsoft News Tracker Says:

    [...] Microsoft gets points for the new name, but as I have whined before (e.g. [1], [2], [3]), online storage services aren’t exactly new news and it’s not only hard to stand out from the herd, but forget about making any money.   Filed under Beta and CTP, Windows Live, Microsoft, Windows Live Folders   [Permalink] [TrackBack] [...]

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