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Google Drive to launch next week, offer 5GB free

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Google's long-awaited new cloud storage service is due to launch next week, according to reports.

Technology site The Next Web claims to have seen a draft press release for the service, called Google Drive, which reveals that it will offer users 5GB of storage, much more than the 2GB offered by the popular Dropbox.

It is expected that people will be able to pay for more Google Drive storage, although the press release does not give any further details on this.

Rumors of a Google cloud-based storage solution first emerged in 2006, but no service has so far emerged, despite rivals Microsoft, Apple and even online retailer Amazon already being established in the online storage market.

Speculation surrounding Google Drive gathered new pace in recent months, as various leaks suggested that it is very close to launch.

Similarly to other services, it is expected that Google Drive will enable users to store their files, images, and music in the cloud, and then access them on a desktop, laptop, smartphone or tablet computer.

Any changes made to documents are likely to be reflected on all platforms, negating the need for people to carry around files on a USB flash drive.

According to The Next Web, Google Drive will work "in desktop folders" on both Mac and Windows machines, while TechCrunch has published a screenshot showing the Google Drive OS X app.

Google already offers storage systems for music and documents, but it is expected that Google Drive will enable more sharing of content across its other services.

Google Drive, expected to come with the tagline "all your files - everywhere", will launch next Tuesday at http://drive.google.com, says the report.

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