After what seems like years of speculation Google seems poised to launch its own cloud-based storage system called Drive. What surprises me is that Google must have known about Apple developing iCloud so why take so long in getting Drive rolled out or try and pre-empt Apple’s plans?

There are some big questions to be answered. The most obvious one is how much free space is Google going to throw our way? Dropbox trails the world with 2GB of free space (forget about the 5GB photo beta for the time being) and both Box and SugarSync offer a gratis 5GB. Will Google come in and try and kill the opposition stone dead with a 10GB offer?

Google Interface

The next big question is will users jump ship and abandon the likes of SugarSync, Box etc? I guess there are enough people out there who are not huge fans of Google who won’t jump at the chance to store their data with The Big G so they will stay loyal to their existing service. Personally I won’t abandon SugarSync as I have too much invested in it with premium plans that a free 10gb offer from Google isn’t a big deal for me. What about you?

And how will users access their Drive? Google is well known for its quirky and arguably non intuitive interfaces and Drive may just be too awkward to fight, especially if it offers 5gb when Box and SugarSync offer easy to use interfaces.

Will it work? With Wave and Buzz Google has shown that it is fallible. Could it screw up again?

What will the rivals do? SugarSync upped the ante when it offered 5gb against the standard 2gb of free space and is market savvy. Box has aimed itself firmly at the corporate market so I doubt if they will see Drive as a major rival.

Dropbox has appeared in the doldrums for so long one wonders whether it has any innovative plans to counter Drive. Maybe as it is synonymous with cloud storage and most journalists think it’s the only player in the game maybe it doesn’t have to.