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Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Evidence of GDrive in Google Apps
By Tony Ruscoe

Rumors of an online storage solution from Google have been circulating for years. These rumors became stronger in July last year when references to Platypus and GDrive were accidentally made available on the domain. A few months later, Google’s internal Platypus client was leaked and people started to question whether GDrive would ever be made available publicly – especially when it was suggested recently that the GDrive release may have been delayed or canceled.

Earlier today, I stumbled across some more evidence which may further support rumors that GDrive will be made available publicly, possibly as part of Google Apps, though it could just mean that Google uses GDrive internally as part of Google Apps.

Anyone familiar with my previous Google-digging will know that I try to keep track of Google service names used by both Google Accounts and Google Apps. By changing query string parameters on various pages, it’s possible to get a glimpse into what Google might be working on. Many of the service code names I’ve discovered in the past have been released several months or years later, while others are still unreleased or remain to be a complete mystery.

What I discovered today was that Google Apps accounts allow you to change the query string parameter on the page where you can disable services. By changing the “service” parameter, I was given the option to disable GDrive on my account (even though it wasn’t currently enabled):

For anyone with their own Google Apps domain, you can try the following URL after replacing “” with your own domain and signing in:

(Note: This also works for YouTube – service=youtube – and Google Video – service=videoonline – even though those services aren’t readily available to Google Apps accounts.)

In May this year, after being redirected from and prompted to sign in to a service called WWW10, I asked on my blog, “What is Google WWW10?” Upon further inspection, visiting tries to set the following cookie in the 302 response header:

PlatypusData=EXPIRED;Path=/;Expires=Mon, 01-Jan-1990 00:00:00 GMT

So what does this mean exactly? I guess it means that the mysterious WWW10 service is likely to be GDrive or Platypus and that it’s possibly going to be available to Google Apps users. Of course, we shouldn’t forget that Google uses Google Apps themselves, so it’s also possible that GDrive is only enabled for the Google Apps account and is only meant to be used internally.

Of course, it could also mean that we’re one more step closer to GDrive being released to everyone...

Update: It seems that no longer tries to set this cookie or redirect to the WWW10 login page. Is Google trying to hide something? [Thanks Luka!]

Update 2: And now Google has disabled the “DisableService” page for all services that you can’t yet add to your Google Apps account - which includes ah, cf, fensi, jotspot, sitemaps, videoonline, voice, www10 and youtube. The “DisableService” page does, however, still appear for the other services even if you have not yet added them to your account.


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