While rumors of its arrival have been getting stronger and stronger, Google Drive seems to be finally about to arrive and to be released next week probably on April 24/25 and will offer 5 GB of storage for free accounts. The launch date for next week is not yet confirmed, but details seem now well established from various sources.
The cloud based file hosting service will seek to compete with other well established cloud storage providers such as Dropbox, Box, Apple’s iCloud and Microsoft’s SkyDrive.
The 5GB of free storage for free accounts exceed double the amount offered by Dropbox, its main competitor, though with a referral program Dropbox free accounts can reach up to 16 GB. Dropbox has become an alternative for storing personal data on-line and has been a discovery for many Internet users that can save all kinds of documents in the cloud. As of last year, Dropbox had about 50 million accounts.
Google will try to base its marketing on the simplification that brings desktop client for uploading and downloading content to the cloud and the ability to access applications through multiple operating systems designed for desktop and mobile platforms. Google Drive will be compatible with Windows and Mac, as well as on iOS and Android smartphones and tablets.
In addition to serving as storage provider, Google could also provide more advanced features such as editing documents using Google Docs. There will be a deep integration with Google Apps and developers will have an API to link their services with GDrive.
The launch of Google Drive will be an important step for Google. The search giant has the strength of integrating its various Google services with each other as we have seen in Google+. Inheriting that culture, Google will surely focus on integrating other various Google services with Google Drive.