Google released its online storage locker, Google Drive, a competitor to other cloud-based storage services like Box, Dropbox and Microsoft's SkyDrive.
Google Drive offers users 5GB of free storage with several upgrade options: 25GB for $2.49/month; 100GB for $4.99/month; and a whopping 1TB (terabyte) for $49.99/month.
Box offers 5GB of free storage already, while Dropbox offers 2GB and both offer upgrade options.
When you upgrade to any of the paid Drive accounts, Google will automatically upgrade your Gmail account storage to 25GB.
Google Drive has similar features to services like Box and DropBox. Ironically, Google was rumored for years to be ready to launch a cloud-based storage service call GDrive before some of these newer competitors had really gained traction, but it never happened. The advent of more Internet-enabled mobile devices like tablets, makes the cloud-based offering even more attractive as it allows users to access and share files while mobile.
The new Google Drive has similar features to these competitors, although it’s tightly integrated to Google’s services. For example, while the others let you store and share documents, Google Docs is built right in to Drive.
At last week’s DEMO conference, Box CEO Aaron Levie implied his company is better positioned to service business customers.
“Their job is to get into very big categories,” said Levie. “They are going to be a very important competitor particularly on the consumer side. As businesses want to scale, that’s our entire business, to offer a more scalable, open platform.”
The search giant describes Google Drive in a blog post as “a place where you can create, share, collaborate, and keep all of your stuff. Whether you’re working with a friend on a joint research project, planning a wedding with your fiancé or tracking a budget with roommates, you can do it in Drive. You can upload and access all of your files, including videos, photos, Google Docs, PDFs and beyond.”
But Google’s also done more to integrate Drive into other Google services. For example, you can attach photos from Drive to posts in Google+. Google says it also plans to soon offer the ability to attach Drive files directly to Gmail emails.
Senior VP of Chrome and Apps, Sundar Pichai also said in the blog post today that Google is working with third party developers that will offer Drive-friendly apps. Some of the examples mentioned include apps that will let you send faxes, edit videos and create website mockups directly from Drive. These apps will be available from Google’s Chrome Web Store.