By Henry Knight
Google Drive is a provided by Google, released on April 24, 2012, which enables user cloud storage, file sharing and collaborative editing. Google Drive is now the home of Google Docs, a suite of productivity applications, that offer collaborative editing on documents, spread sheets, presentations, and more. Rumours about Google Drive began circulating as early as March 2006. Files shared publicly on Google Drive can be searched with web search engines.
Google Drive offers all users an initial 15 GB of online storage space, usable across three of its most-used services: Google Drive, Gmail, and Google+ Photos (aka Picasa Web Albums).A user can get additional storage, which is shared between Picasa and Google Drive, from 100 GB up to 16 TB through a paid monthly subscription plan ($4.99 US per month for 100 GB). Originally, these subscriptions were truly treated as "additional storage" such that a user with a 100 GB subscription would still retain the free 5 GB for a total of 105 GB; however, in September 2012, Google announced it was cutting the 5 GB of free storage from all paid users' accounts, so that a user paying for 100 GB would be restricted to precisely 100 GB. Data storage of files up to 1 GB total in size was introduced on 13 January 2010, but has since been increased to 10 GB. Documents using Google Docs native formats do not count towards this quota.
On May 13, 2013 Google announced the merge of their free storage across Gmail, Google Drive, & Google+ Photos allowing users up to 15GB of free storage to use across their accounts.