Google Planning to Release Dropbox Competitor

Google is planning on launching a cloud storage service named “Drive.” The infamous “Gdrive” has been rumored in the pipeline for years and years and now that services like Box and Dropbox are sexy, of course Google’s trying to get in on that action.

The Wall Street Journal cites sources familiar with the matter, which state that Drive will facilitate the storing of photos, documents and videos on Google’s servers, allowing them to instantly share them with other people.

Google Drive is tipped to launch in the ‘coming weeks or months’ and is expected to be free for most users and businesses. As with Dropbox, Google is likely to introduce a paid storage option for users that wish to store large amounts of files.

Google already allows users to upgrade their Gmail and Picasa storage, so it would likely incorporate the same structure into its new Drive service. Prices start at $5 for 20GB, so it would be inexpensive for users if the search giant was to adhere to the same strategy.

The price of extra storage is attractive, but the better question is why? Why launch this now? If you’re getting into the consumer cloud storage space in 2012 you’ve already lost the market no matter how much you can undercut the competition. Besides that, nobody really uses these services for anything more than the free level anyway.

On top of that, Google already has a cloud storage service — it’s the company’s entire suite of products. Why would I want Drive when I have Gmail, Picassa, YouTube, Music, Gdocs, etc.? Those services already come with practically unlimited storage.

This only makes sense if Google were attempting to tie all of their product services together in some unifying system. But that doesn’t seem to be the case. It’s not like this is an announcement of a better Google dashboard that let’s people login to their Google account and have the ability to see, control, manipulate all their various Google products.

This is pretty standard operating procedure for Google. They love throwing darts at a dart board without really understanding whether they’re playing Cricket or 300. This announcement is eerily similar to today’s other announcement that they’re working on some sort of music streaming hardware device. Um, what?

The Motorola merger hasn’t gone through and admittedly the thought of those two companies building some sort of Internet capable media device (think Google TV with a DVR, TV tuner, apps, gaming component, etc.) is exciting, but a stand alone music device? Bo-ring and so five-years-ago.

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