This time around, Google Drive seems to be a reality. Granted, it was real when the previous rumors surfaced, several years ago, but the project was killed off. Now, it will go live for everyone.
It will be an evolution of the current Google Docs
, which can store any type of file, and not a completely new service, but it will come with more tools and features.
We've already heard about Google Drive several times, indirect clues to its existence, but a screenshot of the service in action has now surfaced.
A photo of a slide showing the Google Drive homepage was snapped
by Johannes Wigand at a Google-sponsored presentation.
The photo shows the service clearly labeled as "Drive," but the page is otherwise identical to Google Docs.
This has already been speculated, Google Drive is mostly a rebranding of Docs which, despite offering the possibility of uploading and storing any type of file, most people still associate with native Google documents, spreadsheets and so on.
This confusion will be lifted when the Google Drive name goes live. Presumably, the collection of online editors and collaboration tools will continue to be called Google Docs.
But Google has more in store than a rebranding. According
to TechCrunch, Google plans to release desktop tools linked to Google Drive which will provide simplified file-syncing capabilities.
With a set of desktop clients, Google Drive will be able to compete with the likes of Dropbox and co. The client tool along with the service are already being tested internally at Google.
Google Drive with desktop, and quite possibly mobile, clients would be a strong proposition in the world of cloud-sync services. While Docs currently only offers 1 GB of storage space for free, Google has the best rates for paid storage space pretty much anywhere.
For $5 (3.65 Euro) a year, you get 20 GB of storage with Google. 200 GB will cost you $50 (36.5 Euro) a year. 100 GB storage with Dropbox costs $19.99 (14.59 Euro) a month or $199 (145.9 Euro) per year.
Of course, there is also the possibility of Google giving away more free space to promote the newly rebranded service. There's no indication on when Google Drive becomes available to all users, but it should be soon enough since the service and associated tools are said to be mostly complete and working already.