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Google Drive for Business boosts data retention features in crowded market

Blair Hanley Frank | Sept. 22, 2015
New discovery features could encourage big business adoption.

Many of Google's competitors already had that same certification, including Dropbox for Business and Microsoft OneDrive. In a market with competition as tight as the one Drive is playing in, it's important for Google to have every possible advantage. Of course, it remains to be seen whether the company's assurances and this certification will do enough to allay users' fears, particularly about their data being used to power Google's advertising engine.

The company announced that it now has over 1 million businesses both paying for and actively using its Drive service, including the New York Times and Uber Technologies. It's good news for the Mountain View, California, company, which is trying to gain a stronger foothold among businesses that would traditionally use Microsoft's productivity software.

Google won't say what exactly makes a business count as an active user, but it isn't counting those businesses that haven't actively used Drive in the past month or those that are paying for it but haven't rolled it out.

Of course, that figure doesn't count all of the employees who are using personal Google accounts to take advantage of the company's collaboration tools without their company's supervision. The popularity of its collaboration tools among consumers is a good differentiator for Google: the company can encourage IT departments to adopt Drive because some of their employees are likely already using it to handle work.

All of this comes just a day before Microsoft is slated to release Office 2016, the next version of its venerable productivity suite. Improved collaboration tools that allow people to work together on documents from the Office desktop apps are one of the marquee features of the upgrade -- a direct strike against Google's dominance in the collaboration space.

It's possible that Microsoft's new features will prove enough to halt or at least blunt Google's advance into the enterprise market, especially as the Seattle-based tech titan continues to push its Office 365 services and improve their compliance and discovery capabilities. Alternately, Google's new features could help it introduce services to new businesses that would have ignored Drive for Work in the past.

 

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