Google may release an online storage and backup service in the coming months, adding to its suite of hosted services, which already includes a variety of communication and collaboration applications, The Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday.
Rumors that Google is developing such a service, informally known as the "Gdrive," have been circulating for more than two years. It's not clear why it has taken Google so long to deliver Gdrive, considering its concept is far from new and online storage and backup services are available already from a variety of vendors.
In fact, according to the Journal, the company isn't still completely sure it will bring this service to market, and plans for it could be shelved.
As existing services do, Google's would let people store files on Google servers so that they could make backup copies of files on hard drives and access and share them with others from any computer via the Internet, the Journal reported.
The service would provide an undetermined amount of storage for free, with additional space available for a fee, the Journal reported, quoting anonymous sources familiar with the plans.
Google didn't immediately respond to a request for comment from IDG News Service. A Google spokeswoman contacted by the Journal declined to comment about any specific online storage plans.
Google hopes to differentiate the service from existing competing ones by making it easier to use, the Journal reported.
Google already offers hosted storage for a variety of its Web-based applications, but this service would act as a sort of umbrella storage for multiple Google applications, allowing people to do keyword searches on their files, according to the Journal.