Google Storage Price Cut Shows Cloud is Competitive, Maturing
Google slashed the costs of hosted storage for its Picasa and Gmail applications, offering 20 gigabytes (GB) of storage for $5 per year, or twice as much for one quarter of the previous price. Will users begin entrusting more e-mail and photos to Google server farms? It's hard to say, but certainly cutting storage costs for its Picasa photo-sharing and Gmail applications is a sign the cloud computing market is maturing. Was the cost cut a competitive gesture? Google's cut came one days after Cisco Nov. 9 launched its Cisco WebEx Mail hosted e-mail app for $3.50 per user per month with 5 GB of storage.Google slashed the costs of hosted storage for its Picasa and Gmail applications, offering 20 gigabytes (GB) of storage for $5 per year, or twice as much for one quarter of the previous price. For perspective, that's enough storage for 10,000 high-resolution photos taken with a 5 megapixel camera. For more perspective, Google's storage costs as recently as January 2009 was $20 for 10 GB -- not bad, but a relative drop in the bucket compared to Google's latest cut.
When Google introduced the extra storage option in August 2007, it cost $20 per year for 6 GB. Google Operating System has the present and past breakdowns in price here.
"The technology continually increases in efficiency -and this progress is one of the main things that facilitate the movement to the cloud. Google engineers have been working on improving our infrastructure to reduce costs and pass the savings to users, and we're dramatically lowering our prices to make Google paid storage even more affordable."Of course, a little competition from Cisco, Microsoft and IBM, which last month launched Lotus iNotes for $36 per year, helps keep Google on its toes. These are new threats not only to Gmail, but to Google's broader Google Apps platform, which staked a claim in the cloud three years ago for businesses.