Report: Google plans cloud-storage service

February 9, 2012

Google is reportedly prepping a cloud-drive competitor to services such as Dropbox. According to a report from the Wall Street Journal, the company is planning to roll out a storage locker in “weeks or months.”

The report cites sources close to the matter and says that Google will offer the service for free for most of its consumers, unless they require a lot of storage. It didn’t specify how much storage Google would offer or at what prices. Dropbox offers users 2GB for free, then charges $9.99 for 50 GB or $19.99 for 100 GB.

Google has been rumored to be releasing a “G-Drive” in the past, and in September TechCrunch reported that the company was closing in on launching the service after initially killing the idea in 2008.

Google Drive will not just compete against startups like Dropbox and SugarSync. Presumably, its ability to integrate its services with the Google Drive will also make it a prime competitor with rivals such as Amazon and Microsoft for storing users’ files.

The Google cloud locker would likely work with Google Docs, which already lets users share a variety of document and music files with each other, and would sync across computers and mobile devices.

The WSJ report says that users would also be able to share video on the new storage service. Files would be shared with a link, giving it a slight edge over Amazon’s service.

While sites such as Megaupload are under scrutiny and have raised concerns about how piracy could affect the stability of cloud services, the field for file-sharing services — particularly from respected companies — is stronger than ever. And that demand will only get stronger as users adopt smartphones and are able to create more content on-the-go.

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FileSonic cuts file-sharing after Megaupload case

Megaupload shutdown raises new Internet-sharing fears

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Hayley Tsukayama covers consumer technology for The Washington Post.
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