Google has just changed their pricing for storage, giving users double the capacity for exactly 25% of the price. Credit the cloud, but you can now store 20 gigabytes of data on Google a year, for just $5. It might as well be free.
Google credits the falling cost of storage to the rise of cloud computing. Google points to the ascendancy of netbooks and “net centric hardware,” for making cloud storage a vital component of data use and the larger internet.
The 20 gigabytes that Google is selling, which is enough space for 10,000 5 mega pixels photos, is only one of their new pricing tiers. Google has plans up to a full 16 terabytes. Spring for that and you can store a 8 million full resolution photos.
Even Adam Jackson doesn’t have that many. This move by Google makes two larger points: cloud storage is rapidly approaching a negligible marginal cost by the gigabyte, and Google understands the rising power of the netbook.
But there is something much larger afoot. Bring back everything that you know about Chrome OS, which has long been targeted at lighter-weight computers with limited physical storage. Translation: netbooks.
This move by Google to slash the price of data storage is a move that is paving the way for Chrome OS to function as a full power operating system. This lets Chrome OS machines to drop nearly all the need for physical storage, enabling devices to be smaller and cost less.
This move also impacts the future of Android. Given the tight integration between Android and other Google services, this move makes Android just one step better, or closer to being equal to the iPhone than before. More storage at less cost for the Android power user.
At ten cents per gigabyte for a stand-alone hard drive, the new Google storage is about a 250% price rise. But, factor into the equation that Google storage comes pre backed-up, and is accessible from all your devices; the cost differential goes away. That means, for some people, cloud and physical storage just hit total cost parity. That is a big damn deal.
Of course, Google might be subsidizing this in the short-term, but the trend is plain, cloud storage is going to become faster, cheaper, and more reliable.
You can see all the Google storage options here.