Reports Say That Google Is Set to Announce its Cloud Storage Service

by Ostatic Staff - Apr. 17, 2012

It's been rumored for years now that Google will launch a cloud-based storage service that would compete with players such as Dropbox, and now multiple media outlets are reporting that they've come across screenshots and releases related to the service in the wild. There are screenshots that appear to confirm that the "Google Drive" cloud storage service will work seamlessly on the Mac as well as other platforms (including Android), and -- although Google has yet to confirm anything about the alleged service -- a release reportedly confirms that it will offer users 5GB of free storage and might arrive next week. If so, lots of users are going to go for this service.

According to The Next Web, which has reported on a release apparently obtained in the wild, the Google storage service will trump Dropbox's 2GB of free storage by offering users 5GB, and the service could launch as early as next week. The Next Web adds:

"What’s also interesting is the wording related to how the system will work. It’s been long-thought that Windows integration will come easy, but that getting the Google Drive icon into the Mac a la Dropbox would be a bit harder. From what we’re reading, Google Drive will work 'in desktop folders' on both Mac and Windows machines, which still leaves the operation question unanswered."

The Wall Street Journal has also done early, previous analysis of the possible Google Drive solution:

"Like Dropbox, Google's storage service, called Drive, is a response to the growth of Internet-connected mobile devices like smartphones and tablets and the rise of 'cloud computing,' or storing files online so that they can be retrieved from multiple devices, these people said."

If you've ever used Dropbox, you know how useful it is for backing up files in the cloud, sharing files with remote users, and more. Dropbox became a hot Silicon Valley startup by arriving early with a useful cloud-focused service that it offered--in a basic version--for free. There are also multiple alternatives to Dropbox.

But Google's own cloud-based storage service would be an ideal complement to Chrome OS and its new Google Play entertainment-focused offering. As we've reported before, with Chrome OS, Google bet heavily on the idea that consumers and business users would have no problem storing data and using applications in the cloud, without working on the locally stored data/applications model that most people are used to. Here at OStatic, we always questioned the aggressively cloud-centric stance that Chrome OS is designed to take.

However, Google could create useful synergies between a new cloud-based storage service and Chrome OS, and there might even be room to give people storage incentives in the cloud if they choose Chrome OS. That kind of incentive might entice some businesses to adopt Chromebooks and Google's operating system.

Google hasn't confirmed the reported Drive service yet, but it makes tons of sense, and the folks at Dropbox should be watching all of this closely.