Google Inc. has been suspected of coming really close to finish making their cloud storage service that would be able to rival Silicon Valley’s finest. Google has been working on multiple projects at the same time, everything from mobile platforms to desktop operating systems to web services. One web service that could technically benefit a number of their solutions would be an online storage service. A few years back, some developers created a software called GMail Drive, which allowed users to store data on their Gmail accounts. However, this wasn’t supported by Google and it never really caught up. There were rumours that Google was working on their own system called Google Drive as competition to Dropbox, a popular online storage service. It looks like those rumours may be true. According to the Wall Street Journal Google Inc. is pretty close to unveiling its most powerful asset yet
Wall Street Journal insiders have said that Google will soon launch a cloud storage called “Drive”. It will rival Dropbox , Amazon S3, and Apple iCloud in functionality, being able to “store photos, documents and videos on Google’s servers so that they could be accessible from any Web-connected device and allows them to easily share the files with others.” It sounds like it will have some overlap with Picasa, Google Docs, and Youtube, but at this time nobody has all the particulars.
Drive allows people to store photos, documents and videos on Google’s servers so that they could be accessible from any Web-connected device and allows them to easily share the files with others, these people said. If a person wants to email a video shot from a smartphone, for instance, he can upload it to the Web through the Drive mobile app and email people a link to the video rather than a bulky file.
The Google service, which is expected to launch in the coming weeks or months, will be free for most consumers and businesses. Google will charge a fee to those who want to store a large amount of files, the people familiar with the matter said.
Google’s Drive service also would rival Apple’s iCloud, which lets people store data online but only can be accessed through Apple devices.
Google’s service is expected to be added to its suite of online software that it sells to businesses, called Google Apps. That would also make Drive competitive with Box.net, which sells cloud storage to businesses.
World-wide, $830 million was spent on such file and back-up storage services in 2011, and that figure is expected to grow by 47% to $1.2 billion this year, according to Gartner Inc.
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The free version of Dropbox lets people store as much as two gigabytes of data. People can pay $10 or $20 a month to store up to 50 or 100 gigabytes, and hundreds of dollars for a lot more storage. Google’s initiative aims to offer such storage for a smaller fee, said a person familiar with the matter.
Google’s Drive is one of several recent attempts by the Internet giant to catch up to smaller companies in hot new areas. Last year, the company released Google+, which aims to compete with social-media sites Facebook Inc. and Twitter Inc. Google Currents, a mobile-device app that lets people read news articles, was launched last fall and is viewed as a competitor to Flipboard Inc. and other such apps. Google also has developed services and bought business-reviews company Zagat to better compete with Yelp Inc.
Google already has a massive cloud infrastructure to store and power all of its services, from Web search and video site YouTube to Web applications such as Google Docs, which lets people create and work on documents and other files online.