Update: Google Drive launches with 5GB free space

Additional capacity starts at 25GB for $2.49 a month

Google today launched its Google Drive cloud storage service, offering users 5GB of free space -- an increase of 4GB over what it had been offering users of Google Docs.

The company made the announcement official after information about it leaked on Google's French blog site.

The company had apparently posted details of the new cloud storage service on the blog and then quickly deleted them.

"Just like the Loch Ness Monster, you may have heard the rumors about Google Drive," Google said on its blog. "It turns out, one of the two actually does exist.

"Today, were introducing Google Drivea place where you can create, share, collaborate, and keep all of your stuff. Whether youre working with a friend on a joint research project, planning a wedding with your fiancé or tracking a budget with roommates, you can do it in Drive. You can upload and access all of your files, including videos, photos, Google Docs, PDFs and beyond."

According to Google, users can upgrade to 25GB for $2.49/month, 100GB for $4.99/month or 1TB for $49.99/month. When you upgrade to a paid account, your Gmail account storage will also expand to 25GB.

As expected, the service will offer comprehensive search capabilities that include support for Optical Character Recognition (OCR) documents and image recognition.

There will be a Web-based file interface that offers access to 30 different file types, including HD video, Photoshop and Illustrator.

Additionally, Google will launch apps for PCs, Macs and Android-enabled devices. The company expects to launch an iOS app in coming weeks.

Lucas Mearian covers storage, disaster recovery and business continuity, financial services infrastructure and health care IT for Computerworld. Follow Lucas on Twitter at @lucasmearian or subscribe to Lucas's RSS feed . His e-mail address is lmearian@computerworld.com.

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