Like Dropbox, cloud storage services have been no doubt become more popular. Both Microsoft and Apple are involved in the space in some form, well on top of highly successful startups entirely dedicated to providing such services. Apart this, since 2010, there have been rumors that Google was planning to launch a cloud storage service, and more recently, it was revealed on good authority such a service was kept in the pipeline, and they called it as Google Drive.
According to The Next Web, Google Drive will debut next week, possibly on Tuesday or Wednesday. The service will offer 5GB of free cloud storage space, offering 5GB of storage for free; 3GB more than what is offered by Dropbox for the low cost of nothing. Mind you, SkyDrive, Microsoft’s offering in the space offers a generous 25GB of storage for free. which is 3GB more than Dropbox currently offers free users. Users will also be able to buy more storage in case 5GB just isn’t enough.
The service will work with both Windows and Macs “in desktop folders.” It’s not clear exactly what that means, but it could mean that Google Drive will upload and sync folders on users computers. Those folders would then be available through the Google Drive service on desktops, tablets, and smartphones.
TechCrunch did receive a Google Drive app on OS X, which they were able to successfully download and run. It looks legit, however, it cannot connect to Google’s servers just yet as they haven’t flipped the switch enabling Google Drive.
If Google Drive does offer 5GB of free cloud storage, that could mean trouble for Dropbox which only offer 2GB for non-paid subscribers. Dropbox also doesn’t have the partnerships that we assume Google will have with Google Drive.
Google Drive will surely be tied into Google Apps, which is sure to prompt some to use the service. SkyDrive ties in well with Microsoft’s own online services ecosystem, and it will soon play a larger role in Windows 8 (and Windows Phone) in the form of apps and integration.
On the topic of pure, free storage space, SkyDrive certainly takes the cake. And, as far as trust, well, it’s up to the consumer really. Dropbox, Box.net and other cloud services could face a huge challenge next week, and may need to increase offerings and change strategies to compete with Google.