Mountain View, US, September 6 — Pioneering cloud storage solution Google Drive will change. The Google Drive client for Windows and Mac will no longer be supported by Google starting on December 11th, 2017 and, shut down on March 12th, 2018.
Starting on September 26th the replacing service called Drive File Stream will be available to G Suite customers. Admins are already able to see settings for Drive File Stream in their console located at Apps > G Suite > Drive and Docs > Data Access.
There will be two different data sync solutions available then. Drive File Stream which is allegedly best for most organizations and the Backup and Sync client most directed towards consumer users.
The final solution seemingly is going to have a user experience similar to Microsoft’s OneDrive implementation. The files will natively sit in your explorer window, and a little cloud icon will indicate the file’s location and status as far we can tell based on the provided screenshots.
Google Drive File Stream client comparison
On their support website, Google compares the two solutions like this:
|Feature||Drive File Stream||Backup and Sync|
|Access files in My Drive||✔||✔|
|Access files in Team Drives||✔||✘|
|Stream files on demand||✔||✘|
|Sync only selected folders in My Drive||✔||✔|
|Sync only individual files in My Drive||✔||✘|
|Use native applications like MS Word and Photoshop||✔||✔|
|Sync other folders, such as Documents or Desktop||✘||✔|
If you’re using G Suite in your organization, now would be a good time to set everything up according to your company’s IT policies and make everything ready for your users.
In case you’re looking for more information you can check their blog post on this matter with supporting links to further documentation. The solution will be readily available for both Windows and Mac OS users.
Consumer impact unclear
Consumers who currently have a Google Drive subscription are not yet informed about this, and the impact to them is unclear. The Google Drive app is still available in the Google Play Store and has not yet been replaced. There is no Google Drive File Stream app yet.
Photo credit: Google
Source: Google Blog
Editorial notice: We updated the first part of the text to clarify the actual news here a bit more on the 13th of September.