Google GDrive cloud storage finally arriving next month?

Neowin veterans may remember the first article that we wrote about Google’s mooted online storage service all the way back in March 2006. Talk of the service has repeatedly popped up since then, but today, six years later, we’re still waiting for it to arrive.

So we’re understandably wary of a new report from GigaOM’s Om Malik, who has spoken with his “well placed sources familiar with [the] company’s plans”, and claims that Google’s cloud storage service will finally launch soon – as early as next week, in fact. Om says that the insiders have told him that “the big day is sometime during the first week of April 2012”, but predictably, Google has so far refused to comment on this speculation.

The launch of the service – widely believed to be called GDrive – would certainly be a welcome new addition to Google’s ecosystem, but the details of the offering sound lacklustre at best. GDrive will reportedly provide just 1GB of free storage, with larger storage options being available for users to purchase. Given that Microsoft’s SkyDrive offers 25GB of cloud storage free - with the promise of unlimited storage for Office documents and photos - this would appear to make the GDrive offering remarkably weak by comparison.

Google’s service will reportedly include a local client and web interface that is described as looking “much like the Google Docs interface”. Google will also provide an API to allow developers to extend GDrive storage to third-party apps.

A cloud storage service has always been a bit of a gap in Google’s ecosystem. The company has been working hard to better integrate its numerous services – for example with its unified cloud-based Google Play offering, and the decision to provide a single set of terms and conditions across its services – so the prospect of GDrive finally launching soon isn’t inconceivable. But we’ve been down this road before, and so far we have nothing to show for it, so don’t get your hopes up just yet.

But do you think GDrive even matters? Do you feel like it’s something that’s been missing from Google’s ecosystem so far? Have you already filled that gap with a rival service like SkyDrive or Dropbox? And do you think that the reported 1GB of free storage will be enough for most users of Google's services? Be sure to share your thoughts with us below.

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