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Google Drive cloud storage incoming?

Google has set its sights on your external HDD

Google is rumoured to be preparing to launch a new cloud storage service called Google Drive.

The internet giant already is already a big player in the cloud space with services including Google Docs, so it's almost surprising that it isn't already offering cloud storage to users.

The rumour comes via the Wall Street Journal, which can only be as exact as "weeks or months" when it comes to an expected launch date.

Meanwhile, it describes Google Drive as a free service that will charge consumers and businesses a fee if they want to up their quota.

Doin' it like Dropbox

That business model is nothing new, being exactly how rival services like Dropbox and Microsoft Skydrive do it.

A cloud storage service from Google has been on the cards for a long time, with its GDrive project being cancelled as far back as 2008.

In fact, it already offers 1GB of free storage to users of Google Docs, Gmail and Picasa Web Albums. This can be upgraded to between 20GB (US$5 per year) to a mind-blowing and wallet-crippling 16TB ($4,096 per year).

However the current offering lacks some of the dedicated backup and sharing features of rivals like Dropbox, likely to be addressed by Google Drive when it arrives.

From Wall Street Journal