Google Drive, a product that stores personal documents, photos, videos and a wide range of other digital content on Google's computers is Google’s latest push to organise the world’s information.
By keeping files in massive data centers, users will be able to call up the information on their smartphones, tablets, laptops and desktops. Google Drive is offering the first five gigabytes of storage per account for free. Additional storage will be sold for prices starting at $US2.49 per month for 25 gigabytes up to $US49.99 per month for one terabyte.
The service is initially available for installation on Windows-based computers, Mac computers, laptops running on Google's Chrome operating system and smartphones powered by Google's Android software. A version compatible with Apple's iPhone and iPad is due out in the coming weeks.
Google Drive is starting out by undercutting Dropbox, which emerged as an early leader in online storage by attracting more than 50 million users who collectively sync about 1 billion files every two days. Dropbox, offers only 2 gigabytes of free storage - less than half of Google Drive - and sells 100 gigabytes for $US20 per month or $US200 annually. Google Drive, by contrast, is only going to charge $US5 per month, or $US60 annually, for 100 gigabytes of storage.
Apple's iCloud service, which is designed for owners of their mobile devices and computers, also offers 5 gigabytes of free storage and charges $US100 annually for 50 gigabytes of storage. Microsoft's SkyDrive offers 7 gigabytes to 25 gigabytes of free storage, depending on when the user signed up for the service. Microsoft however, has just announced this week that SkyDrive will sell 100 gigabytes of storage for $US50 annually.