Google seeks to build world's biggest digital filing cabinet with launch of Google Drive

 

Google is hoping to build the world's largest digital filing cabinet
in the latest attempt to deepen people's dependence on its services.

The internet search leader's latest product stores personal documents, photos, videos and a wide range of other digital content on Google's computers. 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.

Google announced the long-rumoured service, Google Drive, which is offering the first five gigabytes of storage per account for free. Additional storage will be sold for prices starting at 2.49 dollars (£1.54) per month for 25 gigabytes up to 49.99 dollars (£31) per month for one terabyte, equivalent to five laptops with 200-gigabyte drives.

Google Drive is initially available for installation on Window-based computers, Mac computers, laptops running on Google's Chrome operating system and smartphones powered by Google's Android software. A version compatible with Apple's iPhone and iPad is due in the next few weeks.

It may be several weeks before Google Drive is available throughout the world.

The new service represents Google's attempt to muscle into a market that is turning into the internet's version of storage wars. It comes nearly five years after word first leaked out that the company was developing an online file storage service, then called Gdrive, that never came to fruition. Google made light of those rumours in comparing Google Drive's announcement to the sighting of the Loch Ness Monster.

The early leader in the battle so far has been the San Francisco start-up, Dropbox, which raised 257 million dollars (£159 million) in venture capital and attracted more than 50 million users since it was founded in 2007 by two graduates from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Dropbox says its users collectively store about 1 billion files every two days.

While Dropbox has emerged as the early favourite among consumers, another start-up called Box has carved a niche offering online storage for businesses. Founded in 2005, Box has raised 162 million dollars (£100 million) in venture capital and says about 120,000 companies, including most of the Fortune 500, have set up accounts.

Google is also trying to catch up to Apple, which last year introduced a storage service called iCloud that primarily caters to iPhone and iPad owners, and Microsoft, which gives away seven gigabytes of free storage on its SkyDrive service.

Google is hoping to differentiate its storage service by equipping it with more convenient and powerful tools. The service will draw upon the company's expertise in internet technology for text and images to make it easier to find data quickly. It also includes optical character recognition that can search for specific words contained in scanned newspapers or other sources.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebooks
ebookPart of The Independent’s new eBook series The Great Composers
Life and Style
life
Arts and Entertainment
Cold case: Aaron McCusker and Christopher Eccleston in ‘Fortitude’
tvReview: Sky Atlantic's ambitious new series Fortitude has begun with a feature-length special
Voices
Three people wearing masks depicting Ed Miliband, David Cameron and Nick Clegg
voicesPolitics is in the gutter – but there is an alternative, says Nigel Farage
Voices
The veterans Mark Hayward, Hugh Thompson and Sean Staines (back) with Grayson Perry (front left) and Evgeny Lebedev
charity appealMaverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
News
i100
News
people
Sport
Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho
footballThe more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Life and Style
Vote green: Benoit Berenger at The Duke of Cambridge in London's Islington
food + drinkBanishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turn over a new leaf
News
Joel Grey (left) poses next to a poster featuring his character in the film
peopleActor Joel Grey comes out at 82
News
i100
News
business
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Gadgets & Tech

    Ashdown Group: IT Support Analyst - London - £43,000

    £35000 - £43000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Senior IT Support Analyst...

    Ashdown Group: Senior Network Engineer - London - £70,000

    £60000 - £70000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: An excellent opportunity ...

    Ashdown Group: Senior Systems Administrator - London - £50,000

    £40000 - £50000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Senior Systems Administra...

    Ashdown Group: Application Support Analyst- (Customer Support) - £29,000

    £29000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Application Support Analyst- (Customer Suppor...

    Day In a Page

    Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

    Isis hostage crisis

    The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
    Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

    The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

    Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
    Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

    Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

    Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
    Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

    Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

    This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
    Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

    Cabbage is king again

    Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
    11 best winter skin treats

    Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

    Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
    Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

    Paul Scholes column

    The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
    Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

    Frank Warren's Ringside

    No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
    Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

    Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

    The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
    Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

    Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

    Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
    Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

    Homeless Veterans appeal

    MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
    Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

    Comedians share stories of depression

    The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
    Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

    Has The Archers lost the plot?

    A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
    English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

    14 office buildings added to protected lists

    Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
    Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

    Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

    Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee