Google's much-rumored online storage service should be available in a few months, according to a report in The Wall Street Journal late on Monday that cites unnamed sources.
The service would allow people to store any kind of data on Google servers and access it from any computer with an Internet connection. An unspecified amount of storage would be offered for free with additional amounts available for a fee, the report said.
Google spokespeople did not return calls seeking comment on the report. A spokeswoman for the search company reached by the newspaper declined to comment on any specific plans but said "storage is an important component of making Web (applications) fit easily into consumers' and business users' lives."
The news is hardly new and certainly not surprising. Rumors of a hosted storage offering from Google, dubbed "Gdrive," have .
The move would raise the stakes in Google's rivalry with Microsoft, whose productivity applications rule the desktop world. Google has been releasing hosted e-mail, word processing, spreadsheets, calendar, and other programs that compete with Microsoft. While consumers are attracted to the online services of Google's, corporations have yet to sign up for security and functionality reasons.
Microsoft offers a hosted storage offering of its own, which itthis summer and has readied Office Live Workspace, a free online tool for viewing, sharing and storing, but not editing, Office documents online.
Google executives espouse a digital world where people can access their data from anywhere in what is called "cloud computing."