Storage news from both Google and Microsoft today: The former is giving you the ability to upgrade your combined Gmail and Picasa Web Album storage, in what could be a precursor to a full-fledged Gdrive storage offering, and the latter has launched its news Windows Live Skydrive.

Both are defective, in my opinion. I realize that these are just betas, but Google is way off base with 6 gigabytes of combined Gmail and Picasa storage for $20 a year. The early-bird (or more likely mistaken) price of $1 made a lot more sense to me. Storage is virtually free, and Google knows it — and as more than one person has pointed out already, Yahoo Mail is unlimited, and Flickr.com has unlimited storage for $20.

Windows Live Skydrive, meanwhile, starts with the clunky Windows Folders interface and design and 500 megabytes of storage. What the heck is that all about? I have photos that are 500 megabytes in size (okay, that’s a bit of an exaggeration, but not much). Mike Arrington of TechCrunch is similarly unimpressed.

Microsoft is going to have to work a little harder than that, and so is Google. Storage options like JungleDrive that are built using Amazon’s ultra-cheap S3 storage service — and others like the ones described at Read/Write Web — look pretty good compared to either one at the moment.

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Mathew 2414 posts

I'm a Toronto-based former senior writer with Gigaom and my favorite things to write about are social technology, media and the evolution of online behavior

5 Responses to “Google and MSFT need to try harder”
  1. Microsoft’s 500meg limit is obviously carefully set to keep anyone from uploading movies (divx run around 600M min.) or games.

    Another case of someone planning a service based mainly on PREVENTING 5% of the “bad” people from doing questionable stuff, rather than ENABLING the 95% of “good” people from actually, you know, getting something useful :p
    (cf. DRM, etc.)

  2. Storage isn’t “virtually free” when you multiply it by hundreds of thousands of users – or millions of them. Email has a very different pattern of usage.

    Having said that, expect Microsoft to continue to push new things in this space over time.

  3. I agree. This is a disappointing decision. The sole Google site that I am really using is gmail. I have some interest in Calendar and Docs – but there are other options that I feel are comparable or better (Zoho and Airset). As for Picasa – I really do not see much value to it.

    I was actually pleasantly surprised with Microsoft’s decision – it is not much but it is better than what they have done in the past. However, my preference is for either Xdrive or Box.net

  4. Any of these services charging an annual fee, even as small as $20 is a pain in the neck. I am cutting these small fees out as I was paying something like $1,500 is small fees per annum across all the services on offer. Now I chase the free services, thus Docs and Spreadsheets has some of my documents, Zoho has others, etc. . . I am spreading my risk and obtaining all the free portions of each service.

  5. I’m not sure if they heard me or not. Its been my experience that the ad agencies would love to get a bigger piece of the web pie, but that they don’t really understand it. They prefer to make it look flashy, and hope the design drives traffic

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