THE FIRST SHOTS in a price war appear to have been fired, as Google has announced it will cut the cost of its Google Drive cloud storage and productivity applications.
Coinciding with Microsoft's announcement of a reduced prices for Microsoft Office 365, Google announced on the Drive Blog that "thanks to a number of recent infrastructure improvements, we're able to make it more affordable for you to keep everything safe and easy to reach on any device, from anywhere."
In addition to the 15GB free package, which covers users across cloud storage, Picasa and Gmail, the basic Google Drive package of 100GB has been reduced from $4.99 to $1.99, or £1.20 per month. A terabyte goes from $49.99 to $9.99 or £6 and Google has added a 10TB tier at $99.99 or £60 a month. Even more storage is available on request.
Google is promoting the terabyte price point, which has seen a 60 percent price cut, and Google describing it as "enough storage for you to take a selfie twice a day for the next 200 years and still have room left over for... shall we say... less important things".
Google Drive's productivity suite formerly known as Google Docs has also released a new store for third-party add-ons as it aggressively targets Microsoft Office and open source desktop productivity packages such as Openoffice and Libreoffice.
Although these prices are impressive, Google Drive faces stiff opposition from Kim Dotcom's Mega, which offers 50GB free as standard.
Before it launched Google Drive in 2012, Google offered storage at a much lower rate, which is still being honoured for anyone lucky enough to have been a subscriber, with 80GB costing $20 a year, which is comparable to these latest prices. µ