Google, Microsoft and Apple build online storage havens

I have been reading about the latest developments for online storage offered by the big 3 as named in this post header.  Google have all but dismissed hopes of unlimited free online storage with the announcement that they will offer a paid service storage upgrade for its users.  These can be used across both Picasa Web Albums and Gmail (and shortly for Google Docs & Spreadsheets).  For $20 a year, Gmail users can add another 6GB of storage to sit on top of the 2+GB which is offered [for free] through Gmail, plus an additional 1GB offered for Picasa. There are more storage options available, going up as high as 250GB for $500 per year.  More info on this here 

Additionally, Microsoft announced that Windows Live SkyDrive (previously “Windows Live Folders”) has opened to the public. This free beta service offers up to 500MB of online storage for not just e-mail and web albums (as with Google’s offering) but practically anything else can be stored as well.  Through a new look UI which integrates into Windows users can drag and drop their files, plus browse the public directories of other SkyDrives users.

Finally, not to be outdone in such matters Apple has bumped up their storage offerings through .Mac from 1gb to 10gb.  Subscription remains the same, $99 a year, but the service also comes with a number of other tools such as web hosting, tight desktop integration and Mac training.  More info here

There are alternatives to these providers both free and subscription based but it is interesting to see these companies battle it out on the road to cloud computing (its a long road!) and it will not be surprising to see these services gain functionality and drop in price.

I am currently reviewing these services so will post my findings over the next week or so, but feel free to leave a comment if you have any experience with these.

These are not true “online backup” solutions – I may post about those at a later date.

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