Although rumors have been flying since 2007 about Google offering a hosted storage solution, the Wall Street Journal is reporting that Google is finally set to launch its new storage service in the next several weeks. The service, which is named Drive, will utilize Google’s cloud-based storage to allow users to easily store and share files between multiple computers and mobile devices.
The new product is expected to provide native syncing and will allow users to drag and drop a file and immediately access that file on multiple devices. In addition, the Drive will allow people to easily share music, documents, and video files by simply providing other people with a link.
Although Google is expected to provide Drive free of charge to most businesses and consumers, there will likely be a small fee for users that choose to store a large amount of data. Google has not provided answers regarding the quantity of storage included with the free accounts, but the free service is expected to significantly exceed the 2 GB that Dropbox offers its free users. In addition, additional storage for Drive is expected to cost only a small percentage of what Dropbox currently charges for extra storage. For example, Google currently provides GMail, Picassa, and Google Docs users the opportunity to purchase additional storage space for only $5 per year per 20 GB. When contrasted with the Dropbox Pro 50 Plan, which costs $10 per month for 50 GB, the pricing of the new Drive service looks very attractive. However, similar to Gmail, Google is expected to subsidize Drive with highly profitable advertising.
Although Google’s entry to the cloud-based storage market is late, they are hoping to compete with Dropbox, Apple’s iCloud, and Amazon’s service by leveraging their current user base and pricing the competition out of the market. Google’s first challenge is actually launching the product this time! If they do, will you drop Dropbox?