Feb. 9, 2012 at 1:06 PM ET
Google is preparing to launch a cloud-storage service called Drive soon, according to one report. Drive will allow users to store files online and retrieve them from multiple devices — just as they might with existing services, such as Dropbox.
According to a report by the Wall Street Journal's Amir Efrati, "people familiar with the matter" explained that Drive should launch "in the coming weeks or months" and is expected to be free (though a fee will be charged if someone wants to store "a large amount of files").
Based on the way the service Efrati describes Drive, the folks at Dropbox — a popular cloud-storage provider — have a good reason to get nervous. After all, Google is about to become a clear rival:
Drive allows people to store photos, documents and videos on Google's servers so that they could be accessible from any Web-connected device and allows them to easily share the files with others, these people said. If a person wants to email a video shot from a smartphone, for instance, he can upload it to the Web through the Drive mobile app and email people a link to the video rather than a bulky file.
Of course, Dropbox isn't the only one who is about to gain another competitor. Apple's iCloud service is also quite similar to what Google reportedly intends to offer. We'll see how all those rivalries will play out once Drive is official, but one thing is for certain: All the added competition is bound to lead to better — and cheaper — cloud-storage options for consumers.
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