Google to unify consumer and enterprise GDrive cloud backup solutions: Windows 10 and macOS users to soon get Drive for Desktop

Google Drive for Desktop
Google unifying consumer and enterprise cloud storage apps. Pic credit: Krzysztof-m/Pixabay

Google is unifying the personal and enterprise solutions for Google Drive (GDrive). The search giant is about to merge ‘Drive File Stream’ and ‘Backup and Sync’ into one platform called ‘Drive for Desktop’.

Google will soon launch ‘Drive for Desktop’. The platform for managing files stored in the cloud will be identical for consumers and enterprise users.

Google ‘Drive for Desktop’ to benefit individual and enterprise customers:

Google has announced plans to retire both of its Google Drive solutions that users currently rely on to keep their files backed-up in the cloud. The search giant will replace both the clients for Windows or macOS computer with a singular, unified solution.

At present, there are two Google Drive solutions, one each for individual consumers and enterprise clients. While the average Google services user gets the Backup and Sync, enterprise users get Drive File Stream.

Interestingly, despite being two, both the apps offer very similar functionality. Both monitor files on a user’s machine and upload any brand-new or altered files that aren’t currently backed-up, to the cloud.

Essentially, both the services run quietly in the background. They ensure that users always have an up-to-date backup of their most important files.

All Google accounts, even the free ones, come with a free 15GB allowance. Hence opting for one of the solutions is quite standard practice.

It seems Google has observed a new usage pattern during the last year. Owing to the pandemic, many users routinely juggle between the apps for individual and enterprise account. So, it is only logical to offer a singular solution, reasoned Google.

“We’re planning to unify our sync clients and bring all of our customers the best and most used features from both Drive File Stream and Backup and Sync. This will create a powerful and unified sync client for anyone who uses Drive, whether for business or personal purpose.”

Google Backup and Sync is being merged into Drive File Stream:

It is the consumer-grade Google Backup and Sync that will merge with the enterprise-grade Drive File Stream. In other words, it is the latter that Google has chosen to create the unified ‘Google Drive for Desktop’ platform.

The solution will handle the entire backing up process for the files to the cloud. Just like the services it replaces, the platform will work silently in the background.

Google has further indicated that it will give business customers three-month notice before it makes the change. This means it will be the enterprise clients who will receive Google Drive for Desktop first.

Once the transition of the corporate clients is complete, Google will slowly make Google Drive for Desktop available to consumers who are currently using the Backup and Sync app.

Is Google Drive for Desktop better than Backup and Sync and Drive File Stream?

Google has indicated that it is designing the Google Drive for Desktop to ensure the experience is simpler. In a blog post about its plans, Google stated: “We are bringing features from Backup and Sync to Google Drive for Desktop to create a simpler user experience.”

Google Drive for Desktop
Pic credit: Google via MSPoweruser

“New features to Google Drive for Desktop include syncing folders like Documents or Desktop or Drive storage, uploading from USB devices, uploading photos and videos to either Google Photos or Google Drive, and support for multiple accounts.”

The search giant is also enabling Dark Mode. Additionally, the new Google Drive for Desktop will also extend the ability to use Microsoft Office. As evident from the image above, the main feature missing appears to be the selective uploads of file types and folders based on the extensions.

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