With Microsoft's OneDrive service suddenly a deeply integrated part of every Windows user's life, it's perhaps not surprising that the cloud storage wars are now heating up. The latest development: Google announced today that it is dramatically lowering the prices of its paid Google Drive storage for individuals.
"We're excited that so many people are now using Google Drive as their go-to place for keeping all their files," Google Drive director of product development Scott Johnston writes in a new post to the Official Google Blog. "Today, thanks to a number of recent infrastructure improvements, we're able to make it more affordable for you to keep everything safe and easy to reach on any device, from anywhere."
(Well, not any device. There's no official Google Drive client for Windows Phone or Windows 8/RT, though there is of course one for the Windows desktop.)
The freebie version of Google Drive still offers 15 GB of storage, about double what Microsoft offers for free with OneDrive, or 7 times what you get from Dropbox. But if you want to pay for extra, the new pricing is pretty affordable. Here are the basic tiers:
100 GB. This now costs just $1.99 per month ($23.88 per year). This was previously $4.99 per month.
1 TB. $9.99 per month, or $119.88 per year. Previously $49.99 per month.
10 TB. $99.99 per month, or $1,198.80 per year.
By comparison, Microsoft offers 50 GB for $25 per year, 100 GB for $50 per year and 200 GB for $100 per year. So the 100 GB offering is about half price on Google, while Google's 1 TB offering is just a bit more expensive than Microsoft's 200 GB offering (which offers 1/5th the storage).
Granted, I don't think this kind of thing is the sole reason why someone might pick Google or Microsoft for cloud storage. Instead, it seems aimed more at dedicated services like Dropbox or Box, that don't have any platform lock-in. Indeed, most Windows users should obviously stick with OneDrive, and that's especially true if you're using any other compatible devices in the Microsoft ecosystem—Windows Phones, Windows tablets, Xbox One, and so on—or Office or the Office Online web apps on whatever platform.
Still. These are good prices. Dropbox charges $9.99 per month (or $119.88 per year) for just 100 GB of storage. For that price at Google, you can get 1 TB (!). This is the real target of this offering, not Microsoft.