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Google Apps to offer extra cloud storage for a fee

Blogger and Picasa can make use of extra space

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Google will soon start letting Apps users buy additional storage for some of the applications in the hosted collaboration and communication suite.

In a few days, Apps administrators will get the option of letting their domain's users buy more storage space for files created with the suite's Docs office productivity applications. Administrators must also allow use of the Google Checkout payment system in their domains.

"As more and more people discover the power and flexibility of creating and collaborating using nothing but the web, an increasing volume of user content is stored in the cloud," wrote Google Apps Product Manager Gaurav Jain.

Until now, Google didn't offer Apps customers any options to acquire additional storage.

It's up to individual users to buy storage, which can only be used on their accounts. There are five options, ranging from 20GB for $5 per year to 1TB for $256 per year. The feature is formally called User Managed Storage.

In addition to storing Docs files, users can also apply the storage to photos published in their Blogger accounts or kept in their Picasa Web Albums, if these two services are part of their Apps domain.

The Docs applications, a word processor, a spreadsheet and a presentation creator, are a standard component of Apps, but Blogger and Picasa are optional. The additional storage can't be used for the Gmail component of Apps. All Apps editions offer each user 1GB of Google Docs storage and 1GB of Picasa and Blogger storage.

Google Apps for Business, the only fee-based edition of Apps at $50 per user per year, includes 25GB for every Gmail inbox, 1GB per user for Docs file storage and 10GB plus 500MB of shared storage for the Sites intranet builder application.



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