Just in time for the holidays, Group Product Manager Alex Vogenthaler announced on Friday a deal that should make shopping for a laptop a little bit easier. Customers who purchase a Chromebook, starting now, will get 1 TB of free storage space in Google Drive for two years. That's a $240 value, which is the price of some Chomebooks and Windows 8.1 products this holiday season.
"That's enough space to keep more than 100,000 awkward holiday sweater pics safe and shareable in Drive," Vogenthaler said. "With that much free storage, you can use your Chromebook for work, play and pretty much everything else you'll do this holiday season."
The news arrives after Microsoft said that Office 365 users will get an unlimited amount of OneDrive space for free. There's no catch other than customers need an Office 365 subscription. The company indicated that the rollout will take several months to complete, and that customers will be notified by Microsoft once the free unlimited storage is added.
Amazon also recently made a move to offer more storage. The company revealed earlier this month that Prime subscribers will receive free unlimited photo storage with its Prime Photos service. The photos will be stored in Amazon's Cloud Drive and can be uploaded by using a PC, a Mac, iOS devices, Android devices and the company's own Fire tablets and phone.
The race to earn your business by offering "free" online storage is just beginning. Of course, these current offerings by Amazon and Microsoft require a monthly fee for access, and Google's own storage solution will cost users money once the promotion runs dry. As it stands now, 15 GB of Google Drive storage is free, 100 GB is $1.99 per month, 1 TB is $9.99 per month, and 10 TB and over starts at $99.99 per month.
Honestly, two years of Google Drive seems like a great deal, but what happens when that promotion ends? Either users must pay the monthly fee or find somewhere else to park their data. Will Google provide a warning before the two years is up? Two years is a long time, enough to get customers hooked into the service and make it difficult to head anywhere else.
The story here, though, is that this free storage space will come with Chromebooks this holiday season. Will that be enough of an incentive to purchase a Chromebook? Further, will two years' worth of free storage be enough to pull customers away from Windows 8.1 solutions with the same price tag? We knew there would be a price war between Chromebooks and Windows 8.1 devices this holiday season, and now we're in the thick of it just over a month away from Christmas.
You can purchase a Chromebook through Google Play, online via retailers such as Amazon and Newegg, and at local retail outlets such as Best Buy. The free 2-year storage offer must be redeemed before January 1, 2015.