Microsoft planning Google storage service rival

The software giant is expected to move into online storage, with a service that could rival Google's rumoured Gdrive

Microsoft is developing an online storage service, codenamed Live Drive, that could compete with Google's Gdrive project.

Live Drive will be a subscription service that provides users with virtual storage for personal data.

Details of the project emerged during a Fortune magazine interview with Ray Ozzie, Microsoft's chief technology officer.

"Microsoft is planning to use its server farms to offer anyone huge amounts of online storage of digital data. It even has a name for that future service: Live Drive. With Live Drive, all your information — movies, music, tax information, a high-definition videoconference you had with your grandmother, whatever — could be accessible from anywhere, on any device," the article stated.

Brandon LeBlanc, a Microsoft blogger, said in a blog posting that Live Drive would enable Microsoft subscribers to access their PCs remotely.

"Pretty much, with Windows Live Drive, you will be able to access your computer through the Web and is perfect for folks who travel with laptops and need to access their desktop PCs," said Overd.

Google's Gdrive project details were leaked at a Google analysts meeting in March. According to comments made at the time, Gdrive is intended to allow users to mirror the data stored on their hard drives. This information was apparently backed up by company documents that were made available online, but quickly removed. Google refused to comment on the matter at the time.

Gdrive is expected to provide both consumers and business customers with an unlimited amount of online storage for their data. Google Mail users can already store in excess of 2GB of data for free. The service was an immediate success, although Google initially put strict limits on the number of users.

Overd expects Gdrive to be a subscription service, according to his blog.

Microsoft was unable to confirm details of the Live Drive project at the time of writing.