Google Drive Said To Launch Next Week, With 5GB Of Free Storage For All

Rumors and reports of Google Drive’s imminent launch have been coming hard and fast lately, but this one may just take the cake. The folks at The Next Web managed to get their hands on a draft of an announcement from one of Google’s official Drive partners, and have just revealed a few titillating details about the storage-service-that-almost-wasn’t.

Earlier reports noted that the long-awaited cloud storage service would make its official debut sometime this week, but that no longer appears to be the case. Instead, Google Drive will reportedly launch next week, bestowing all interested users with 5GB of free storage to play with right out of the gate.

That number jibes rather nicely with the leaked screenshots unearthed by the team at TalkAndroid just over two weeks ago. As expected, users will also be able to purchase additional storage should they need it, but there’s still no word on what kind of pricing model or storage tiers Google will run with. Those same images pointed to a Windows client for uploading files, and The Next Web reports that users can manage and store files in Google Drive via a folder on their desktop, though how exactly it will be set up is also still unclear.

With a Google Drive launch slated to take place any day now, the question now becomes whether or not Google can make an appreciable impact in the cloud storage space. Their most basic offering certainly looks better on paper than that of competitor Dropbox, who gives users 2GB of free storage just for signing up, but that’s only one of the plentiful players gunning for part of the cloud storage space.

As I noted last time, Apple, Amazon, and Microsoft have already staked out their claims with iCloud, Cloud Drive, and SkyDrive respectively. Meanwhile, established players like Box have begun paying more attention to certain market segments like enterprise as a way of keeping ahead of the competition. The cloud storage clash is just as heated on the mobile front, especially considering companies like HTC and Samsung have partnered with Dropbox to offer 25GB of extra storage to owners of a One series devices or Galaxy Tab 2.

Then again, Google is no stranger to shoving their heft where it arguably doesn’t need to be — just look at Google+. Considering how long Google Drive has been gestating deep in the dark womb that is Mountain View, I expect Google to take every possible opportunity to push their new storage offerings in our faces. But hey, if it works as we all hope it will, that may not be such a bad thing.

Update: We’ve managed to get our hands on the Google Drive OS X app, check out John’s post for more.