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Why Google’s Storage Pricing is Not a Rip-off

If you have a Gmail account, check the ever-growing counter at the bottom: it stopped counting. My Google apps accounts are frozen at 2048MB, non-branded gmail accounts at 2886MB. (I was wrong, the counter still runs. Thanks for the correction, Tony ) Which is not to say you can’t get more storage, as we know yesterday Google announced their pricing:

  • 6 GB – $20.00
  • 25 GB – $75.00
  • 100 GB – $250.00
  • 250 GB – $500.00

Some say it’s a rip-off: I tend to disagree… or let’s just say it depends what other Google services will be covered by the “shared storage”.

It’s already more than just Gmail, so it’s not fair to compare it to Yahoo Mail, which offers unlimited storage (who really needs unlimited email?). Besides, productivity-minded hardcore Gmail fans who find Yahoo mail inferior won’t switch just for the sake of free storage. Features count, after all. Talk about which, you do have to pay to get some of features, e.g. POP access on Yahoo Mail – that’s free on Gmail.
The Flickr comparison isn’t fair, either. Granted, if all I want is unlimited photo storage, a Flickr or Zooomr Pro account is a better deal – but Google has more goodies in their bag.

Think of what happens if when Docs and Spreadsheets – or whatever the eventual name will be, when it includes presentations, JotSpot ..etc. – will become all covered by the shared storage package. Now you have a complete productivity suite on the Web. Not counting photos, music and videos, it’s still hard to reach stratospheric storage requirements – but as you use Word, Excel less often, and most of your “new” stuff is in the cloud, you may start wondering if you should have ALL your documents uploaded, searchable, linkable, backed-up – the whole enchilada.

Both Yahoo and Google have a range of services, and very different pricing policies. Comparing storage on its own is misleading: we should look at the overall value we get from a full productivity suite + storage. If Google chooses not to charge for the apps, only storage, it’s not a bad combo, overall you can get more functionality for your $ then with Yahoo. $20 a year ($1.66 a month!) does not seem that much. By the way, you’re likely spending more on Microsoft Office now smile_omg

Related posts: Andy Beal’s Marketing Pilgrim, Search Engine Land, Between the Lines, Computerworld, ParisLemon, Insider Chatter, Google Blogoscoped, Googlified, Mark Evans, Geek Speaker, VentureBeat, Web Strategy, jkOnTheRun, Googling Google, Damien Mulley, Download Squad, Mashable!, mathewingram.com/work.

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Google Storage Price: Fastest Inflation Ever

As I’ve reported before, this morning several Gmail users found their accounts had 9030MB storage, instead of the typical 2.8G. A few hours later Google Blogoscoped and Google Operating System discovered that we can now purchase additonal storage on Google, via this account management screen. Here’s the price scheme they reported (annual prices):

  • 6 GB – $1.00
  • 25 GB – $75.00
  • 100 GB – $250.00
  • 250 GB – $500.00

If you think 6G for $1 per year is too good a deal, you’re right. By the time I tried it, the price for 6G was $20. The $1 price was not a typo though: see Philipp Lenssen’s screenshot and order receipt for the $1 pricing.

From $1 to $20 in minutes – that’s probably a world record in inflation…

Has anyone else grabbed it for $1?

Also see: Mashable!, Infectious Greed, Venturebeat, Official Google Blog, VentureBeat, ParisLemon.

Update: I can’t help but wonder about the timing: is Google trying to rain on Microsoft’s parade? They’ve just announced Windows Live SkyDrive- whith a whopping thumbs_down 500Mb of online storage. 500Mb sure goes a long way .. where’s the upgrade option?

Stories on SkyDrive: Read/WriteWeb, Mashable!, All about Microsoft, Windows Connected, One Microsoft Way , Insider Chatter, Don Dodge, jkOnTheRun, Dare Obasanjo aka Carnage4Life and Geek Speaker , TechCrunch.

Update (8/10): The Gmail storage counter stopped counting / growing. My Google apps accounts are frozen at 2048MB, non-branded gmail accounts at 2886MB. Michael Arrington said it right:

Today Google said they were not going to play that game any more. They effectively took their toys and went home. I never thought I’d see that.

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Gmail Testing (Selling?) More Storage

While most “average” email users are content with Gmai’s 2G storage, others are close to hitting the ceiling – see Paul Kedrosky’s rant on how he’d like to buy more space, but can’t.

This morning a Chris Selland reported seeing 9G – 9030 MB, to be exact. A search on Google and Technorati doesn’t bring up anything – I wonder if he is a randomly picked participant in Google’s early test. If you read this, please check your Gmail account, and comment back if you’re is increased.

Thanks.

Update. This appears to be the real thing – see also comments below. Mashable reports the same. While these appear to be randomly picked accounts and the additional storage simply became available free, Google Operating System talks about a pay-for-storage theme that would be available across several Google services. Ionut quotes these annual prices:

  • 6 GB – $1.00
  • 25 GB – $75.00
  • 100 GB – $250.00
  • 250 GB – $500.00

These options are accessible via the account management page now, however, the $1 for 6G deal appears to be a typo, I’m seeing 6 GB ($20.00 per year); the other prices are correct.

See update on the pricing here.