Google Enters The Cloud Storage Arena
Google is lacing up its gloves and stepping into the cloud storage ring with its own cloud storage service called Google Drive to rival the widely popular Dropbox and Apple iCloud.
Google Drive is expected to launch within the next few months, according to The Wall Street Journal, which quoted unnamed sources close to the product. The Google Drive cloud storage service will let users store content in Google’s cloud and access it from different devices. Google Drive will also let users upload and share photos, documents, videos and other content in the cloud.
The WSJ report indicates that Google Drive also will be tightly integrated with Gmail, allowing users to share content via links embedded into e-mails, similar to Microsoft’s SkyDrive services. Integration with Google Apps, Google’s cloud collaboration and communication suite, could be included as well.
According to the report, Google Drive will be free for most business users and consumers. Users requiring a larger amount of cloud storage will be offered a pay for premium service.
Cloud storage has become a major battleground in recent months, with companies looking to one-up each other with the amount of free storage they offer. Dropbox is seen as the market leader with more than 45 million users that save 1 billion files every three days. Last October, Dropbox brought in $250 million in Series B funding to continue its cloud storage strategy.
Along with Dropbox, Google Drive will join other cloud storage services such as Apple iCloud, which Apple launched to enable users to store and share content between devices, including the iPhone and iPad.
This new service would join Google Music, which takes advantage of Google search technology as well as its ability to tap into the tastes of a user’s friends to recommend songs. Launched last November, the service allows users to upload their entire music library collection to Google’s servers, but uploads are limited to music files.
With all the internet titans jumping into the ring, it looks like the “Cloud” really is coming into its own. It will be interesting to watch this battle and see where everyone stands once the dust settles. We, the consumer and end user, can only benefit from this battle – hopefully with lower prices and larger amounts of cloud storage space.