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

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  1. Your counter stopped counting? Mine didn’t…

    The Gmail sign in page says it’s still counting and some of the accounts I have access to say they’ve got 2887MB whereas other say 2886MB.

    I don’t think they’ve stopped counting, I think they’re just counting very slowly and it depends which server your Gmail account is on as to whether you’ve got 2886MB or 2887MB.

  2. I do agree with what you said Zoli – if this storage ends up being for everything, like say an eventual Gdrive, then this move makes a lot more sense. People, including myself, were expecting unlimited Gdrive storage for free, but that was probably always unrealistic.

    However, while comparing Google charging for the storage to Yahoo Email Unlimited straight up may be unfair, Yahoo’s Flickr also only charge $30 a year for UNLIMITED photo storage (and soon probably video storage), so Google’s low-end $20 for 6 gigabytes still looks very overpriced in my book.

  3. Yes, I agree on the photo side – Picasa Web was underwhelming to begin with. But it’s hard to isolate one product – both Yahoo and Google have a range of service, and very different pricing policies. Yahoo Mail costs you $$$ if you want POP, which is free with Gmail..

    My point is about the overall value you get from a full productivity suite + storage. If Google chooses not to charge for the apps, only storage, it’s not a bad combo, you have more functionality for your $ then with Yahoo.

  4. Zoli, I think the title and first paragraph of this post are still incorrect.

    Gmail’s storage counter has not stopped counting; non-branded Gmail accounts are not frozen at 2886 MB.

    All of the Gmail accounts I’ve seen now say 2887 MB.

  5. Tony,

    You’re right, I’ve edited the post accordingly. Thanks for correcting me.

  6. Still OK with Google’s TOS and privacy policies in all this?

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