Google Drive, Google Voice partners, and the HTC One X in pictures

This week's rumor roundup includes two Google launches, one Windows schedule, and a hot phone that's been actually held and pictured

It’s tough when rumors are actually vetted, confirmed, and realistic, because then they’re not very exciting rumors. We see that paradox this week in a few different ways, with Google drives, Google Voice partnerships, Windows 8 release candidates, and HTC’s hotly anticipated One X.

The Google Drive is the weirdest thing. Google giving everyone free storage is something that A) Google already does, across a lot of products, and B) everybody has been expecting and waiting on for a long, long time (at least as measured by “web years”). So the really exciting rumor would be how Google is going to actually pitch the Drive, and what secret sauce it has baked in.

But enough mincing about. Onto this week’s seemingly well-considered rumors.

Google Voice expanding to “officially” cover more cell carriers

Source: CNET--and, selfishly, we wonder if it was prompted by our open question about Voice’s future.

Details: CNET interviewed Google Voice’s Group Product Manager, Vincent Paquet, and he said the team was “having discussions with other carriers about this.” That would mean getting carriers beyond Sprint to offer number-porting and easy voicemail replacement. You can do both these things with almost any carrier and Voice, but it can be pretty painful in some cases

Likelihood: Well, the talks are confirmed, so the rumor is which carrier would be next. I’d have to go with T-Mobile, given their fondness for Google integration and testing. You might think Verizon, but remember that it’s the carrier most in love with minute-eating voicemail prompts and other nickel-and-dime maneuvers.

Get excited?: If you’re intrigued by Google Voice but think there’s absolutely no way you can switch and give up your established phone number, then, heck yes, get excited.

Google’s free online storage space, Google Drive, coming first week of April

Source: GigaOM, citing “well placed sources familiar with the plans.”

Details: Google gives everyone 1 GB of free storage space, and would charge for more. It comes with a local client, the web interface looks like Docs, it’s available for Apps customers, and it has an API for third-party tie-ins.

Likelihood: Hoo, boy. The Drive has been rumored forever, but it seems a bit more prescient now, given the “Nexus tablet” that might launch in late June at Google I/O. It’s a small, cheaper tablet, and so cloud storage is a necessary add-on. So an April launch seems feasible.

Get excited?: Me? Not too excited, until I see what’s new. Dropbox provides 2 GB free to start with, and it’s pretty easy to climb up to more than 8 GB of “free” space through referrals, contests, etc. And I like Dropbox because it’s a separate firm that does one thing--it’s a screwdriver, not a multi-tool.

Windows 8 “Release Candidate” coming late May or early June

Source: WinUnleaked.uk, via Ars Technica

Details: The next, closer-to-release-ready version of Windows 8 should be available for desktops and tablets along the same lines as Windows 7’s alpha-beta-RC-gold calendar.

Likelihood: Actually, Windows 8 might take a bit more time to roll out, given the different architectures they’re reaching for this time, and the notable changes to the desktop interface. But the rumored schedule falls somewhere between the schedule for XP and 7, so not entirely impossible

Get excited?: I’m amped to see Windows 8 on an actual tablet. The desktop preview doesn’t have enough Metro-style apps ready for previewing yet. So, yeah, I’m excited, and Microsoft wishes you were, too.

HTC One X, in the flesh and pictured

Source: Android Central Forums

Details: Someone who received a test unit reports that HTC’s much-anticipated phone is as thin and light as reported, has “amazing screen quality,” and pretty good battery life (though the battery is not removeable). There’s also a Beats logo on the phone itself, and an app that shows the Beats logo, suggested the Beats/HTC/streaming music play is in place.

Likelihood: Pretty good, given the targeted release date (mid-May), and the pictures.

Get excited?: If you’re looking for your next Android, and you’ve never cared about access to spare batteries or microSD slots, then sure, get happy.

Top image and thumbnail image via Android Central Forums

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