Google's cloud storage just got a lot cheaper.
The technology company Friday said it has lowered the pricing for monthly storage plans on Google Drive. The price cuts come several days after Google introduced a new customer referral program for Google Apps and about a week after the launch of an expanded, three-tiered partner program for cloud resellers.
Google reduced the prices for Google Drive storage from $4.99 a month to $1.99 a month for 100 GB, and $49.99 to $9.99 for 1 TB. The company also released a 10-plus-TB offering that starts at $99.99 a month. The 15-GB offering, meanwhile, remains free of charge.
While cloud service prices have been falling lately as the competition heats up -- Amazon has steadily reduced its fees for Amazon Web Services and its EC2 cloud, and Microsoft recently cut its Windows Azure Storage pricing -- Google said the reduction in Google Drive storage was the result of changes made to the company's cloud infrastructure.
"Today, thanks to a number of recent infrastructure improvements, we're able to make it more affordable for you to keep everything safe and easy to reach on any device, from anywhere," wrote Scott Johnston, director of product management, on Google's Official Blog. Johnson said existing customers will automatically be moved to the lower pricing models at no additional costs.
Wylie Digdon, director of deployment services at Sheepdog, a Google Apps Premier Enterprise Reseller based in Halifax, Nova Scotia, said the drop in Google Drive storage pricing is a positive for customers and partners alike.
"I'm happy to see the prices come down. We hear it from our clients often that the Drive storage was too pricey for what you get," Digdon said. "The price cuts shouldn't really affect the channel too much as margins should remain the same, and with a price this attractive I think more companies will utilize drive over alternatives like Dropbox and Amazon. And I think Google needed to something like this to compete with Microsoft's recent revamping of OneDrive. To score a terabyte of online storage space for just $10 per month is truly amazing."
Dave Lehtinen, sales director at Onix Networking, a Google Enterprise Partner based in Lakewood, Ohio, said the lower Google Drive storage prices should help his company win more customers. "I think this makes Google Drive a lot more attractive. The 80 percent drop for a terabyte of cloud storage is pretty dramatic," Lehtinen said. "I think it's a shot across the bow of the competition, and Dropbox and Amazon are going to have to respond."
PUBLISHED MARCH 14, 2014