Google gave cloud storage prices another down twist this week announcing Drive for Work.
The service is a business version of Google Drive. It comes complete with administration controls and APIs. However, the headline story is Drive for Work offers customers unlimited cloud storage for US$10 per user per month.
Google announced Drive for Work within days of Microsoft cutting prices for its OneDrive cloud service.
Despite appearances — and the way some media outlets tell the story — the two are not in direct competition.
Google told me: “Drive for Work is a new premium offering for businesses that includes unlimited storage, advanced audit reporting and new security controls”.
Which means Drive for Work is what the label says: a strictly business proposition. Companies have to sign five employees to the service to get the US$10 a month unlimited storage.
Cloud storage is a fast moving market, most likely Google will push the same offer, or something similar, to consumers at a later date.
Google Drive for Work highlights another important cloud storage trend: Companies offering cloud storage don’t stop at packing bits into a data centre, they are wrapping services around their offers.
Storage is treated as something to lure customers into paying for non-commodities and that’s where the battle will be fought between Google, Apple and Microsoft.
Where this leaves other cloud storage providers like Dropbox, Box and Mega is not clear, but it will not make life easy for any of them.