Google Increases Paid Storage, Readying for Chrome OS?

Remember the days when you would often get close to running out of room for your email? Maybe you had to choose which beloved correspondance to keep and which one to trash. Well, it looks like those times are even farther behind us, especially if you use Gmail or other Google services.

The news is spreading across the Internet that Google has revamped its online storage plans. The search giant announced the move in its blog ("Twice the storage for a quarter of the price") and now provides an impressive 20 GB of online storage for $5 a year. Google's blog justifies the increase (it was 10 GB for $5) as a remedy for our ever-growing collections of data.

The company points out that, in addition to wanting to save more emails, it is "easier and cheaper than ever before to take lots of pictures" thanks to digital cameras. The storage will be split between a user's Gmail account and his or her Picasa account, which is Google's photo storage service. There are also larger storage options available from Google, ranging from the aforementioned 20 GB to a massive 16 TB (which would cost you $4,096 per year).

I think this bump in Google's storage seems to point in the direction many companies are going: to the cloud. Google will soon be releasing their own operating system, Chrome OS, which you can read more about here: Google to Make a Computer Operating System. Google has said that Chrome OS will rely heavily on cloud computing. This means that instead of using the power and storage of your computer, the operating system will use Google's own server computers to complete tasks. In other words, a lower-powered, less expensive computer  on your end will get everyday tasks done just as well as high-powered system.

So an increase in Google's online storage now will ensure it is ready for prime time when Chrome OS is released. This will give the company a chance to see how its computers can handle the weight of the cloud. I think it's a great thing that they are doing this now. At least they are not waiting to see what disaster could strike an untested online storage service when millions of users are relying on it.