Google Drive becomes official

I guess the rumors were right—this time. Google has officially taken the wraps off its Drive service, which promises 5GB of free cloud storage capacity with all kinds of sharing and collaboration features. The Google Drive website is here, although it doesn't appear to be letting in new users just yet.

Google Drive should be available for Windows, OS X, and Android, with iOS software "coming soon." You'll be able to supplement your 5GB of free storage capacity with monthly payments. 25GB of storage will set you back $2.49 a month. 100GB will cost $4.99 a month, and Google will even let you shell out $49.99 a month for a whopping terabyte of capacity.

There's more to Google Drive than just cloud storage, though. It seems like the service will take after Google Documents, offering collaborative editing features for text documents, spreadsheets, and presentations. Users will be able to share individual files or whole folders, and they'll be able to track revisions, a la Time Machine. "You can look back as far as 30 days automatically, or choose a revision to save forever," promises Google. Nifty.

Oh, and search will be on the menu, of course. Google Drive will even let you look up "objects in your images and text in scanned documents."

I never got around to setting up a Dropbox account, so I'm looking forward to giving Google Drive a shot. 5GB of storage capacity isn't much in the grand scheme of things, but having an easy way to back up small, important files is always nice. It's good to have another option for sharing files too big for e-mail attachments, which remains a live issue for a lot of folks.

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