One service that Google naturally may have a leg up on is search. Many of the current cloud storage services have clunky search engines that allow users to find files based on names or dates, but not content.
What would be especially interesting, Gillett said, is if Google Drive not only allowed users to search data stores, but connected services such as Google Mail, as well as the physical device itself - all using the same interface.
Four other companies already allow users to search multiple applications and devices. For example, FoundApp creates indexes on a user's computer so you can search Gmail, Google Docs, Drop Box and files on the computer itself. Other providers who offer multiple online or physical device search include: PrimaDesk, CloudMagic and Greplin.
"That would be really interesting," Gillett said. "If Google showed up to the party with a comprehensive search on all my services, plus the sync capability. That would be cool. I don't think they're going to show up with that."
You'll also want to find out how much free capacity a cloud storage service is offering -- as opposed to extra storage you must pay for. Dropbox, for example, provides 2GB free; Box and SugarSync offer 5GB; Apple's iCloud offers 25GB, while Microsoft's SkyDrive provides 25GB with 5GB available for syncing to a local file folder in Windows.
"For all we know, Google Drive will share the same 7.7GB of space that you get with Gmail. Then if pay $5, you get another 20GB, which is cheaper than most," Gillett said.
Lucas Mearian covers storage, disaster recovery and business continuity, financial services infrastructure and health care IT for Computerworld. Follow Lucas on Twitter at @lucasmearian or subscribe to Lucas's RSS feed. His email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
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