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By Ezra Brook
April 24, 2012

Google just announced the release of the much rumoured Google Drive (also known as GDrive) earlier this morning. The tool will allow users to create, share, collaborate, and backup data online. We have not tried Google Drive yet, but from the description, it looks like that it will be a direct competitor to DropBox, Box, SugarSync, and other similar products. Google promises that this is just the beginning and more to come in the future.

Google has made the pricing of the Google Drive a bit cheaper than the competition. The first 5 GB is free; and 25 GB is for $2.49 per month; and 100 GB is $4.99 per month. If users upgrade to any one of these paid accounts, their Gmail account will be automatically increased to 25 GB (from the current limit of 10 GB). Check out this link for a price list.

Additional information can be found by clicking here.

To celebrate the release of the Google Drive, Google has increased users Gmail account space from 7 GB to 10 GB (way too small compared to Yahoo!’s unlimited offering, but still it is very nice to have a 3 GB extra space) and the increase will take effect over the next 24 hours.

The enterprise version is found here; and developers are encouraged to integrate their apps with Google Drive here.

Below is the official announcement from Google :

Introducing Google Drive… yes, really

April 24, 2012 at 9:30 AM

Just like the Loch Ness Monster, you may have heard the rumors about Google Drive. It turns out, one of the two actually does exist.

Today, we’re introducing Google Drive—a place where you can create, share, collaborate, and keep all of your stuff. Whether you’re working with a friend on a joint research project, planning a wedding with your fiancé or tracking a budget with roommates, you can do it in Drive. You can upload and access all of your files, including videos, photos, Google Docs, PDFs and beyond.

With Google Drive, you can:

  • Create and collaborate. Google Docs is built right into Google Drive, so you can work with others in real time on documents, spreadsheets and presentations. Once you choose to share content with others, you can add and reply to comments on anything (PDF, image, video file, etc.) and receive notifications when other people comment on shared items.
  • Store everything safely and access it anywhere (especially while on the go). All your stuff is just… there. You can access your stuff from anywhere—on the web, in your home, at the office, while running errands and from all of your devices. You can install Drive on your Mac or PC and can download the Drive app to your Android phone or tablet. We’re also working hard on a Drive app for your iOS devices. And regardless of platform, blind users can access Drive with a screen reader.
  • Search everything. Search by keyword and filter by file type, owner and more. Drive can even recognize text in scanned documents using Optical Character Recognition (OCR) technology. Let’s say you upload a scanned image of an old newspaper clipping. You can search for a word from the text of the actual article. We also use image recognition so that if you drag and drop photos from your Grand Canyon trip into Drive, you can later search for [grand canyon] and photos of its gorges should pop up. This technology is still in its early stages, and we expect it to get better over time.

You can get started with 5GB of storage for free—that’s enough to store the high-res photos of your trip to the Mt. Everest, scanned copies of your grandparents’ love letters or a career’s worth of business proposals, and still have space for the novel you’re working on. You can choose to upgrade to 25GB for $2.49/month, 100GB for $4.99/month or even 1TB for $49.99/month. When you upgrade to a paid account, your Gmail account storage will also expand to 25GB.

Drive is built to work seamlessly with your overall Google experience. You can attach photos from Drive to posts in Google+, and soon you’ll be able to attach stuff from Drive directly to emails in Gmail. Drive is also an open platform, so we’re working with many third-party developers so you can do things like send faxesedit videos andcreate website mockups directly from Drive. To install these apps, visit the Chrome Web Store—and look out for even more useful apps in the future.

This is just the beginning for Google Drive; there’s a lot more to come.

Get started with Drive today at drive.google.com/start—and keep looking for Nessie…

Posted by Sundar Pichai, SVP, Chrome & Apps

General Tags: data security, backing up online, top rated online backups, online backup providers directory, compare online backups, online backup reviews, cloud computing, online backup news, software as a service, data storage, online backup services, SaaS, online file backup, online file storage, CEO interviews, online backup, online data backup, online backup companies

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