Google just dramatically dropped the price of storage on their network. They are now offering the ability to store up to 20 GB of photos and email for $5 a year. The current free limits for photos on Picasa Web is 1 GB, and GMail users store up to 7.27 GB of email for free.
Using the new price list, you can see that they will be happy to rent you 16 TB of storage in the clouds for only $4096 a year. Just don't try to upload that over your cable modem.
Google's storage offer is for GMail and Photos only, so it doesn't quite constitute a backup solution. It would however seem to be a precursor to the long fabled GDrive. The rumor has been that Google would offer you a web mounted drive onto which you could throw anything. In fact, people have previously abused GMail storage to pack rat away things other than email and I'd expect we'll see more of that in the coming weeks as well.
Since Google is essentially in the online advertising business, I suspect that they haven't yet delivered a GDrive because it hasn't been clear exactly how they'd sell advertising along side the data without the appearance of invading your privacy. It would be kind of creepy to have advertising for alternative drug therapies show up against a spreadsheet of your medical expenses.
The new and now way cheaper pricing does mean one thing. I will not be wasting any more time cleaning up my GMail archives. For five bucks, I'll have all the storage I need in 2010, and in 2011, I expect ten bucks will buy me four times that.
About Phil Yanov
Phil Yanov is a Technologist, Columnist and Public Radio Commentator.
He is the founder of Tech After Five as well as the founder and President of the GSA Technology Council and the IT Leadership Council.
His personal technology column appears in Greenville Business Magazine and the Columbia Business Journal.
He co-hosts the Your Day technology shows heard on NPR radio stations across South Carolina and is a frequent contributor to technology stories appearing on radio and television.