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Google to launch unified Drive for Desktop, Backup and Sync to become defunct later this year

Google in a blog post announced that syncing clients will help users in curbing confusion about which app to use, result in better performance, and make it easier for admins and IT teams to manage deployments.

twitter-logoYasmin Ahmed | February 5, 2021 | Updated 13:24 IST
(Picture: Google Drive)

Highlights

  • Google will launch one unified Drive for Desktop and Google Drive File Stream, Backup and Sync will become defunct later this year.
  • Google noted that it is merely a name change for Google Drive File Stream for business users as the functionality remains the same.
  • It also noted that the Backup and Sync users will have to transition to the unified Drive for Desktop when the deadline comes. However, as of now, there is no action required from personal account users.

Google Drive File Stream, Backup and Sync will become defunct as separate platforms later this year as Google looks to launch a unified Drive for desktop. It will sync clients for Windows and macOS. As of now, there are two sync apps, Drive File Stream for business users, and Backup and Sync for consumer users. Google notes that the development will create a powerful and unified sync client for anyone who uses Drive whether it is for business or personal purposes. It further notes that the sync will help users by curbing confusion about which app to use, resulting in better performance, and make it easier for admins and IT teams to manage deployments.

Google Workspace in a blog post noted, "Some of our Google Workspace customers have deployed both sync solutions, which can be confusing for end users and challenging for IT departments to manage. To address this, we're planning to unify these sync clients later in 2021, bringing the most used features from both Drive File Stream and Backup and Sync to all of our users."

Google notes that the unified platform will be available later in 2021. However, the new unified client will be available in beta and will help organisations and users understand how the unified client will work before it becomes generally available in 2021.

As of January 29, 2021, Google changed Drive Stream's name to Google Drive for desktop. Google in its release notes wrote that it is only the branding that has changed with the functionality remaining the same and that as of Version 45 the Google File Stream is Google Drive for Desktop. Google also changed G Suite's name to Workspace. Google noted that the application name has been changed to Google Drive on macOS. "The mount point path remains the same, so you can still find all your files in the same places, but shortcuts to the application have been renamed to Google Drive," Google noted.

Google said that it will give a 3 months' notice for Google Workspace admins and end-users before the time comes to transition to Drive for desktop. It also said that the transition will be self-serve for end-users, meaning users will have to switch to the platform themselves. However, there is no action required from Backup and Sync users with personal Google accounts as of now. The name change from Drive File Stream to Drive for desktop will take place by default and will be visible to users with Google Drive for desktop version 45 and up.

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