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Google Drive Finally Arrives

One day after Microsoft’s radical overhaul of its SkyDrive cloud-based storage service, Google has announced the long-rumored and long-awaited Google Drive. Like SkyDrive, Google Drive offers cloud-based storage for documents, photos, and other files, and comes in paid storage tiers.

“Google Drive is a place where you can create, share, collaborate, and keep all of your stuff,” a post by Sundar Pichai to the Official Google Blog notes. “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.”

Google is offering 5 GB of storage for free—compared to 7 GB at SkyDrive—and has paid storage tiers of 25 GB ($30 per year), 100 GB ($60 per year), and even 1 TB ($600 per year). Google’s pricing is per month, but I did the math to more easily compare to SkyDrive, which comes with an annual fee, and an additional 20 GB of storage will set you back $10 a year, compared to $25 for 50 GB and $50 for 100 GB. Long story short, Google is more expensive but offers way more storage.

Google Drive offers the following features:

Google Docs integration. Google’s web-based productivity suite is “built right into” Google Drive.

Anywhere/Anytime access to your content. Google says your content is “just there,” and accessible on the web, or by using a new Drive app on a Mac or PC, Android device, or, coming soon, iPhone and iPad.

Integrated search. As you’d expect from Google, its online cloud storage service offers deep search capabilities, including being able to read the text in scanned documents using OCR.

Google services integration. Google Drive integrates with your broader Google experience, including Google+.

You can learn more about this new service at the Google Drive web site. Based on the message I’m seeing, it’s not immediately available to everyone but will likely come online over time.

TAGS: Office 365
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