Google is looking at a cloud storage play with plans to let customers store all types of files and access them from any computing device through Google Docs.
Users will be able to upload files of up to 250 MB in size to Google's storage cloud, and access those files through Google Docs over the Internet from any computer, Vijay Bangaru, product manager for Google Docs, wrote in a blog post on Tuesday.
Google Docs will also allow teams of users to organize and collaborate on uploaded files.
Google Docs, which is Google's free online alternative to office productivity software applications such as Microsoft Office, previously allowed users to store Google Docs files online free of charge.
In a separate blog post, Bangaru also wrote on Tuesday that Google will give customers 1 GB of online storage for files not in the Google Docs format free of charge, with the option of purchasing additional storage for 25 cents per GB per year.
"This makes it easy to back up more of your key files online, from large graphics and raw photos to unedited home videos taken on your smartphone. You might even be able to replace the USB drive you reserved for those files that are too big to send over e-mail," Bangaru wrote.
For business users, the new cloud storage capability lets colleagues collaborate on documents, and make last-minute changes to data that can then be accessed by a partner who may have forgotten to download a presentation or left a USB drive with the presentation at home, Bangaru on Tuesday wrote in a third blog post.
"Combined with shared folders in Google Docs, the upload feature is a great way to collaborate on files with co-workers and external parties. Instead of using cumbersome e-mail attachments, you can upload files to a folder and share it with co-workers, who can then access and edit the files from a single place. You can even have your sales team securely share contracts with external clients for review," he wrote.
Bangaru also wrote that users of the Google Apps Premier Edition, which includes Gmail for business, Google Docs, Google Calendar, Google Sites and other applications for $50 per user per year, will in the next few weeks be able to purchase additional storage for $3.50 per GB per year.