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Google said to be readying cloud-based storage service

Free service called Drive will allow users to upload and retrieve photos, documents, and videos, sources tell The Wall Street Journal.

Google is reportedly getting ready to take on Dropbox with its own cloud-based storage service.

The service--called Drive--is in response to the growing use of mobile devices to access personal files stored on the Internet, according to a Wall Street Journal report that cites unidentified people familiar with the matter. Drive will allow users to upload photos, documents, and videos to Google servers for sharing with others and later retrieval, the sources said.

Drive, which is expected to launch in the coming months, will be free for most consumers and business, with a premium service offered for those who want to store a large amount of data, the paper reported.

Google representatives did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Dropbox has experienced meteoric growth since the cloud-based storage service was founded in 2007. The service, which allows users to upload content and then access it from any Internet-connected device, announced last November that it already had 45 million users. In late October, the company landed $250 million in funding, a huge amount compared with what most startups raise these days.

Targeting businesses as well as individuals, the company provides 2GB of storage for free, a 50GB plan for $9.99 a month, and a 100GB plan for $19.99 a month.

The new service would join Google Music, a service that takes advantage of Google search technology as well as its ability to tap the tastes of a user's friends to recommend songs. Launched last November, the service allows people to upload their entire music libraries to Google's servers, but uploads are limited to music files, while rival Amazon also allows documents, pictures, and videos to be uploaded.