Google ups the storage ante

Search engine Google has surprised observers by stepping up the size of its free cloud based storage offerings from five to 15GB.

The three-fold leap will be shared across Google+, Drive, and Gmail and will roll out in a couple of weeks.

Writing in the company blog, a SpokesGoogle said that businesses using Google Apps will see their storage go up across Google Drive, Google+, and Gmail from 25GB to 30GB.

This makes Google services the most generous storage capacity of any player in the free online storage game. The nearest rival, Dropbox, currently starts free subscribers at 2GB, Microsoft SkyDrive users get 7GB, and Apple iCloud, Amazon Cloud Storage, and SugarSync offer 5GB for free.

The move has some analysts scratching their heads. While Google has shedloads of space which is not doing much at the moment, one of the reasons you don’t want to offer enormous amounts of free data is that it spoils your own cloud based business offerings. Google has not actually said what its logic is in carrying out the move.

One theory is that Google is planning a new range of consumer products, such as multi-media which require more storage. The other is that it is just a way of giving Dropbox a good kicking. It would be very difficult to compete with Google because it has to offer something that large for free, something it might have difficulty doing.

If this is the case, this is Google using its size to do evil to a rival, even if it is eating its bottom line a little. The move does make Gmail, Google+, and Google Drive better.