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Google ups storage for Gmail, Google Apps users

Gmail and Google Apps get storage bumps, but is it bringing us any closer to the fabled GDrive service? We think not.

Gmail users running short on storage are getting a reprieve starting today. The company has announced they'll be increasing the speed in which they've been adding storage to their popular e-mail service, along with bumps to Google Apps users. You might have seen the storage counter that's been running on the Gmail's start page, which is nearing the 3 GB mark bit by bit--and now, it's doing it just a little bit faster. Meanwhile, Google Apps users are getting a slightly better end of the deal. Standard and Educational users are getting a size match with Gmail's offerings, while the Premier gets an extra 15GB, bringing their cap to 25GB.

The one thing missing from any of this newly added storage is a place to dump files--or the long awaited "Gdrive." The closest thing Google actually has to a file dump is with their Google Groups service, which caps total file storage at 100 MB. In comparison, competitors like Microsoft are taking their own initiative with the Windows Live SkyDrive service, which bumped up its limit to 1GB last night, and Yahoo's somewhat crippled Briefcase service which gives users a paltry 25MB of shared storage to share only with other registered Yahoo users (incidentally this is about the attachment size limit for Gmail).

I still think Google is sending mixed messages with their "infinity + 1" concept, which promotes the idea of offering users unlimited storage. The only caveat there is it's on Google's terms, and they'll only make adjustments to the storage limit when they see fit--like today. At the same time, the company is quietly promoting their paid storage add-on service, which sells yearly subscriptions of extra storage to your Google account, ranging up to an additional 400GB. This bodes well for the eventual rollout of the fabled GDrive, but if anyone's expecting copious amounts of free storage beyond what the big G is currently offering, don't hold your breath.