Google is prepping the launch of its own cloud-based storage solution known as Google Drive. The service, which is similar to what rivals Dropbox and Box offer, would allow users to store data on Google’s servers and Drive would allow users to access their stored information from multiple devices anywhere where there is an Internet connection.
According to sources to the Wall Street Journal, Google Drive is close to launching and may arrive in the coming months or weeks. As Google’s I/O developer conference is happening in June this year, the venue may serve as a potential launching pad for Google Drive.
The service essentially would allow users to upload, store, and share large files, and Drive would integrate with services like Google Docs, Gmail, and social networking site Google Plus.
For example, if a user wants to email a large file that traditionally would not fit in a normal email, such as a high resolution photo or video file, the user can upload the file to Google Drive and then email or share a link of that file to friends and family so that they can either download or view the file at a later time.
According to the Wall Street Journal, Google Drive will be priced as a fermium service, which would give a basic amount of storage for free to most users. Demanding users or business customers who need more storage could buy more hosted space from Google at a fee.
Google Drive would also compete with Microsoft’s similar cloud-based storage system, which gives users 25 GB of free storage, known as SkyDrive. SkyDrive is one of the great things about the Windows Phone ecosystem as it allows users to directly upload and carry around massive photo, video, and document libraries.
Google had been contemplating a cloud-based storage solution for at least five years. Co-founder Larry Page had envisioned a service that would allow users to store files, music, and documents online known as G-Drive that was set to launch in 2007, but never was brought to fruition. Google has since launched disparate cloud storage solutions–Google Docs can store files and documents, Google Music can host MP3s, Picasa can house photos, and YouTube can serve as a repository for videos. Google Drive could provide an integrated storage solution for end users.