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Google is pulling a Google on their Drive offerings. Backup and Sync and File Stream are being killed off for Google Drive for Desktop, the previous branding for getting access to your files without having to log into their website.
While they work in similar ways, File Stream was aimed more at those in business, allowing for a virtual drive to be loaded onto a system and accessed like any other drive across a local PC or network.
Backup and Sync allow you to nominate files to be connected to the cloud and then Drive will build a structure around it on the web, allowing you to transfer files between locations without having to manually update it.
Google Drive for Desktop returns from the grave to do… the exact things that File Stream does.
The massive corporation announced in a blog update that they’re giving everyone around 80 days to move over to the new software, which does pretty much exactly the same thing as before but different, or lose access to locally managing your files.
This isn’t an upgrade or delete, as the files will sit in the cloud for as long as it exists.
This follows Google’s current consolidation and retooling of their suite of tools with an aim at Microsoft’s looming presence over office software, especially as work from home has become a permanent thing for a lot of companies since COVID-19.
Microsoft isn’t a saint, but they’re no Google, and the bodies the tech giant has buried stretch far and deep.
It’s with this uncertainty of application lifespan that it becomes tough to ever even recommend Google outside of their base applications of Docs and Maps, products with such integrated power within their ecosystem, killing them would cause riots.
An example outside of the stratosphere of business is Stadia, Google’s game streaming service. Launched in 2019, Stadia has now been kneecapped and left to fend for itself in the mountains as Google shut down the game development of first-party titles and laid off a majority of the staff or shifted them within the company. That was only in February.
Using Google services is a lot like walking a tightrope, with someone at the other end wielding some scissors, ready to cut them at any point and will only tell you via a blog.
While this is a pretty harmless switchover and in actuality, a great bit of consolidation for two apps that do the same thing in different ways, it’s yet further proof that Google isn’t to be trusted in any capacity when it comes to applications.
What isn’t however, is Google’s plans to reduce people on the free-tier Workplace suite to just an hour of video call time in one go.
Google will shut down Backup and Sync on October 1st, 2021.