Google offering new Chromebook buyers 1TB of free cloud storage

  • AFP
  • Updated: Nov 25, 2014 11:08 IST

Any US consumer who purchases one of the growing number of affordable Chrome OS notebooks between now and the end of the year will also get the extra storage -- worth $240 -- for nothing.

As Google explains in a blog post to announce the offer: "That's enough space to keep more than 100,000 awkward holiday sweater pics safe and shareable in Drive. 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 offer is valid on all current Chromebooks and the 1TB of storage will remain free for two years, after which fees will apply.

Chromebooks run Google's memory-light Chrome OS and use the cloud for storing files and applications. By moving storage off the computer along with a lot of processing work, Chromebooks are very fast -- they boot up in seconds -- and are pretty much virus-free.

They're also cheaper than many tablets -- a Chromebook can be snapped up for as little as $199 with 100GB of free cloud storage as standard. Offering ten times that amount of storage will enhance their appeal with consumers.

The back to basics notebooks are already proving a huge hit in the classroom with students of all ages but research firms are noting that their popularity is moving beyond academia and more and more consumers are starting to see their benefits -- Gartner's research, published back in August noted that 50 percent of Chromebooks sales so far this year are to consumers rather than to educational establishments.

The research and consultancy firm believes that 5.2 million people will snap up a Chromebook this year and that by 2017 14.4 million people will be buying one every year.

ABI Research is slightly less optimistic about sales figures: its latest forecast, published in October, places 2014 Chromebook sales at 4.1 million, but that's still 1 percent of the world's total PC sales and double the number sold in 2013.

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