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2/9/2012
06:16 PM
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Google Preps Dropbox Cloud Storage Rival

Google will soon release an update to its long-rumored "GDrive" and a home entertainment system, reports the Wall Street Journal.

Google is once again said to be preparing to release a cloud storage service to compete with the likes of Dropbox and Apple's iCloud.

The service, according to the Wall Street Journal, will be called simply Google Drive. It will allow users to store text, image, and video files on Google's servers and to access those files across mobile, tablet, and desktop computers.

Just like competing hosted storage services, users will have access to a certain amount of free storage--unspecified as yet--and will be able to purchase more if additional space is required.

The service will launch in weeks or months, according to the Wall Street Journal.

But after six years, who's counting? Platypus, the code name for Google's GDrive, was first sighted in 2006. GDrive was sighted again in 2009 in a JavaScript localization file that was part of Google Pack, Google's now discontinued free software bundle.

[ Amazon Web Services is charging less for cloud storage. Read Amazon Drops S3 Storage Pricing. ]

In 2010, Google launched a limited cloud storage service but it wasn't GDrive. The service allows users to upload and store any type of file, but access is tied to Google Apps. Google Apps provides 1 GB of free storage, with additional storage available for $0.25 per GB.

As points of comparison, Dropbox offers 2 GB free, Apple's iCloud offers 5 GB free, and TransMedia's Glide OS offers 30 GB free.

The Google Apps cloud storage service is not to be confused with Google Cloud Storage, officially launched last October, after being tested under the name Google Storage for Developers.

Google also provides free storage space to users of Gmail and Picasa, to say nothing of YouTube.

Separately, the Wall Street Journal reports that Google is also in the process of developing a Google-branded home entertainment system that will provide streaming music. The project is said to be overseen by Google's Android group.

Google declined to comment. "We do not comment on rumor or speculation," a company spokesperson said.

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