Google announced that all Google Drive/GMail/Google+ users will get a unified 15GB for all of their services. For example, instead of getting 10GB for GMail, and 5GB for Google Drive, you get 15GB for both. This is a really good deal, especially if you’re diligent about deleting old email and maximizing the extra space for your Google Drive and G+ for pictures (larger than 2048px).
The paid option now starts at a very reasonable $5/month for 100GB, and goes up from there (the 25GB option will soon be gone). By comparison, Dropbox only starts you with 2GB free and goes significantly higher for more storage ($10 for 100GB and up), Box.com starts you with 5GB ($10 for a paltry 25GB per month), and Sky Drive from Microsoft is 7GB for free ($50 for $100 a year).
So clearly at this point the best deal is Google Drive right now, right? Well yeah. More free space is always good, at least when it applies to cloud drive space of roughly similar security (2 factor authentication, reputable companies, but not true “Trust No One” security where only you have the key).
But I wonder if this is Google abusing its position as a company who can just toss a few more gigs at people without it being too painful, as opposed to companies like Dropbox, Box.com, SpiderOak, SugarSync, etc. where their only business is cloud drive space? Is it a bit unfair (albeit not illegal) to price the little guys out of the market? Maybe so. But it’s the way the world, and particularly the tech industry, works.
And perhaps it’ll push those “little” guys to innovate more, and think of ways they can do value-adds for their services, or perhaps have a more attractive API for developers. Dropbox, for one, already is ubiquitous for applications on mobile devices. A quick glance at my iPad shows at least 4 or 5 apps that can utilize Dropbox for storage, whereas Google Drive’s footprint is relatively low at this point.
Also, bigger companies like Amazon and Microsoft, who can likely afford to be more generous space, might now be compelled to do so. After all, competition is good.
I guess we’ll have to see. I love how well Google’s services work together, but at times I get a little unnerved with the amount of information Google is getting from me. While I truly have nothing to hide, the notion put forth by Eric Schmidt “If you have something that you don’t want anyone to know, maybe you shouldn’t be doing it in the first place” is simply absurd. Privacy isn’t just for those that have something to hide, privacy should be for everyone. If you’re using a service for free, then ads need to cover that, and I understand that certain anonymized data aids that. However the minute you start paying, that needs to change.