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WSJ : Google Drive on its way

The net is all abuzz with news that Google is planning to launch an online storage (opens in new tab) service which would bring Google on par with Microsoft.

Until now, the only Google Gdrive is an unofficial version courtesy of the "GMail Drive shell extension" (opens in new tab) team which gives you access to a Gmail account and a full 5GB storage capacity for free.

The Wall Street Journal (opens in new tab) broke the news that Google is very close to launching the service which would allow customers to store their computer files online.

One feature that is sure to be included would be the ability to save files created on Google Apps in this virtual enclosure and share them with colleagues and co-workers.

Both Microsoft and Yahoo have already implemented online storage for their users for a while

Microsoft's Skydrive for example provide with 1GB online storage capacity and is compatible both with Firefox and Internet Explorer. In comparison, Yahoo's 25MB seems pathetic in comparison.

Microsoft is also preparing (opens in new tab) a corporate version of Skydrive called Office Live Workspaces which would allow online storage and access to documents and files through the Microsoft Office suite with 500MB worth of storage.

Google's launch would be a cause for concern for startup in the virtual storage sector. Overnight, services like Omnidrive, Box.net or Carbonite.com would be faced with a massive competitor.

However, whether Google plans to expand its storage plans onto the desktop (as a virtual drive for example) or whether adverts are part of the plan are still largely unknown.

Désiré Athow
Contributor

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at ITProPortal.com where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.