Google Readying for 'GDrive' Launch - WSJ

 |  Includes: GOOG, MSFT, STX, WDC, YHOO
by: Steven Towns

Google is reportedly preparing to roll out its previously-dubbed "GDrive" online storage service in as early as a few months, according to sources cited in a Wall Street Journal report. While online storage services are already available from third-parties (including from rivals Microsoft and Yahoo!), Google's potential offering is of interest because of high expectations the company can offer a simplified, reliable service with tie-ins to its Apps suite. However, Google faces a number of obstacles in creating a service that meaningfully challenges Microsoft's long dominance of the way people access and store files. Key concerns are privacy, which is partially related to whether advertisements will be displayed as a part of using the service, and copyright issues related to the capability of sharing files, including media files. Also of importance is the reliability of the service and it having a simple on/offline user interface, which makes using the storage similar to accessing a local hard drive. A Google spokeswoman declined to comment on specifics, but said in a statement that "storage is an important component of making Web [applications] fit easily into consumers' and business users' lives." Sources didn't know about pricing, but said Google plans to offer both free and fee-based storage allotments. Shares of Google lost 1.6% to $666 on Monday.

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