Google to offer 1GB of free cloud storage

In late November 2007, we reported on a story by the Wall Street Journal that said Google was planning a free cloud storage service. Well, it's taken over two years, but that prediction has now come true. Google made the announcement on its official blog earlier today.

Rather than a standalone service, the new cloud storage option integrates with Google Documents. Users could upload word processing documents, spreadsheets, and PDF files to the service before, but over the "next few weeks," Google will start accepting any file up to 250MB in size. The blog post cites ZIP archives and RAW files from digital cameras as examples, adding that users will still benefit from existing file and folder sharing features.

Non-paying users will get 1GB of free storage for files not convertible into Google Documents formats. Those willing to exchange money for extra capacity will be able to do so at the cost of 25 cents per gigabyte per year. The cheapest plan provides 20GB of cloud-based storage capacity for five bucks a year—not a bad deal by any means.

Meanwhile, Google says businesses who subscribe to the Google Apps Premier Edition service will have the ability to "seamlessly upload many files at once and sync them with their desktop in real time using third party applications." According to the Google Enterprise Blog, though, extra capacity will cost a heftier $3.50 per gigabyte per year for that service.

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