Leaked details suggest that Google will launch a Dropbox rival offering 5GB of storage for free.

Google Drive cloud storage launch next week?

Leaked details of Google’s Dropbox rival cloud storage service Google Drive suggest that the free service will launch next week offering 5GB of online storage.

Elevating the details above the level of rumour, TechCrunch managed to get hold of a Mac OS X version of the Google Drive application. The application logs into a Google account but currently complaints that "Google Drive is not yet enabled."

Taking details from a leaked release, Thenextweb said that the cloud storage service will offer 5GB for free, significantly more than the 2GB standard of Dropbox although the latter can be boosted in a viral marketing scheme where users can introduce new users and gain more space in the process.

It also seems that Google Drive will hook into host operating systems in the same way as Dropbox, by offering folders on PCs and Macs which are synced to Google’s online servers.

Mobile version are also mooted with Android and iOS covered. In this respect Dropbox sets the bar which Google will need to meet or exceed. They look set to do that in the amount of storage offered but it remains to be seen if the service is as transparent and easy to use as Dropbox.

TechCrunch also suggest that the service will in some way offer native support for files coming from other Google services such as the online office suite Google Docs.

We’d be surprised if there wasn’t direct support in Google Docs to save to Google Drive and the like. What isn’t clear is how this will help Google show more adverts, or result in any revenue stream for a service which surely carries real costs for the internet giant.

Perhaps Google is hoping to charge for storage upgrades in the same way as Dropbox.

Now the real question is whether this will follow the pattern of other Google launches and be confined to a US-only launch. It seems we’ll need to wait until next week to find out.

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