Updating Google Drive Will Eliminate Frustrating File Sharing Problems

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Google has announced an update to its Drive cloud storage service that will make cross-business collaboration easier for everyone involved.

As explained in a new blog post (opens in a new tab), Google Drive’s existing visitor sharing feature will go beyond the ability to give people who don’t have Google account access to files.

In addition to the ability to view, comment on, and edit documents, spreadsheets, and presentations, non-Google users can now also upload content to shared folders managed by the Google Workspace client.

Google Drive Compatibility

While there are several players around, the productivity and office software market is dominated by two wings: Microsoft 365 and Google Workspace. According to data recently collected on behalf of TechRadar Pro, the first choice was the choice of 58.2% of US companies, while 15% chose the Google Group instead.

However, while fair competition will benefit customers in the long run, problems can arise when companies are asked to collaborate with organizations that do not share the same software package.

To address this issue, both Microsoft and Google have provided facilities to reduce the amount of friction that customers experience — and to make the transition between wings easier if the company chooses to switch providers.

For example, Microsoft Word documents can be transferred to Google Docs, and Google Slides can be downloaded in PowerPoint-compatible formats. Likewise, the launch of visitor sharing on Google Drive has removed some of the bottlenecks associated with file sharing across organizations.

However, the latest update takes this feature a step further, allowing external collaborators to upload files and create content within Google Drive, as well as the ability to access pre-existing documents.

The main caveat is that the new Google Drive functionality will not be available to all users. While most paying customers will have access, the feature won’t be extended to Business Starter and Enterprise Essentials plans, or to legacy G Suite Basic and Business customers.

The ability of non-Google users to contribute to shared Drive folders will also not be available to personal account holders, whether they have paid for a subscription or otherwise.