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April 25, 2012, 5:45 am UTC
With the hope of building world’s largest digital filing cabinet to deepen people's dependence on its services, Google has rolled out its much awaited service Google drive.
The service, which will give users 5GB of free remote storage and additional space for a monthly fee, puts the Web giant in competition with Apple and Microsoft, as well as specialized services like Box and Dropbox, in a space that increasingly looks like the future of computing.
"This is really just the next step in the evolution of Google Cloud,It's really letting people live more in the cloud by connecting them more easily with all the devices they have," Scott Johnston, Group Product Manager for Google Drive, told CNN.
By keeping files in massive data centres, users will be able to call up the information on their smartphones, tablet computers, laptops and just about any other internet-connected device, through Google drive. Content can also be more easily shared among friends, family and co-workers by sending links to the information instead of emailing large attachments.
Google Executives, including Sundar Pichai, SVP, Chrome and Apps, went to extreme lengths in a briefing to point out that they are not operating just another online storage service. “This (Drive) is built around the idea of sharing and collaboration,” said Pichai. “We started from the underpinning of Google Docs and idea of collaboration.”
Google Drive is offering the first five gigabytes of storage for free. Prices for additional storage will range from $2.49 (£1.50) per month for 25 gigabytes to $49.99 per month for one terabyte, equivalent to five laptops with 200-gigabyte drives.
Google Inc, which is based in Mountain View, California, is unveiling its offering five years after word first leaked of an online file storage service, then called Gdrive. The lengthy delay made it seem as if it all might be an urban legend, until Tuesday. In a blog post, Google poked fun at itself for taking so long, likening Google Drive's announcement to the sighting of the Loch Ness Monster.
Google Drive will launch with an Android app for smartphones and tablets running Google's mobile operating system and in conjunction with 20 third-party apps.
As one might expect with a Google product, a big feature of Google Drive is a search feature that will allow users to comb through more than 30 types of files, such as Google docs or PDFs. There's also a limited image-search feature, driven by Google Goggles technology, which can recognize famous faces and landmarks, such as Mount Everest.
Just this week, Microsoft expanded its SkyDrive product, offering up to 100GB of storage and adding access for the iPhone, iPad and Windows phones.
But, Google comes from a complete different league and therefore lot of people trust the brand. If they are already comfortable using Google’s services, they will probably use Google drive too.
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