Google officially announced its anticipated Google Drive cloud service on Tuesday, although the storage capacity is less than Microsoft added to its SkyDrive service a day earlier.
Google Drive users will have access to 5GB of free storage in the new service. Additional storage can be purchased starting at $4 per month (20GB up to 16TB). Google also announced that Google Gmail customers would get a free bump from 7.5GB to 10GB over the next 24 hours.
Google Drive is intended to work with multiple platforms and devices. It will allow storage of all file types (Office docs, video, photos, pdfs, etc.). Any document with text will be searchable, even scanned documents through OCR. Google adds that users will be able to “open more than 30 types of documents directly from a Web browser – including high-definition video, Adobe Illustrator, Adobe Photoshop – even without the proper software installed on your computer.”
The company is also introducing an Android app immediately but says it’s working on an iOS app to be launched soon. All content in Google Drive will be available for sharing and collaboration.
In something of a pre-emptive strike, yesterday Microsoft updated its cloud storage offering SkyDrive to 7GB of free storage, which it says covers more than 99 percent user storage needs (20,000 Office documents or 7,000 photos). There are also additional paid storage plans ranging from 20GB to 100GB ($10 to $50 per year). SkyDrive is also available for Mac, iPhone and iPad users.
The market is now moving quickly and will be much more dynamic with Google, Apple, Amazon and Microsoft, as well as several others, competing for attention and adoption.
So how do all these online storage services compared to the new Google Drive? PCworld has created chart covering all the big features.