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Google Docs Add More File Storage Options

Google is expanding the storage capabilities of its Google Docs and online Apps Suite with a larger file size and more flexible storage options. In a blog post today, Google said its Google Docs will soon be able to upload all file types to the cloud up to 250MB per file in size, a limit greater than most e-mail applications typically allow.

The search giant said the new capability would be rolled out to Google Docs users over the next few weeks. Google (NASDAQ: GOOG) said the change will let users store large files, such as graphics and image files, in the cloud rather than transporting them on a USB drive or other storage device or off the corporate network.

Google Docs users can currently upload files, such as documents, which are converted into one of the Google Docs editors -- documents, spreadsheets, presentations. The new feature will let users upload any file type or ZIP folder.

The news comes as Google continues its push to make inroads on the entrenched Microsoft Office suite used by most businesses. Google has pushed its own Google Apps Premier suite as a more flexible, collaborative alternative and has garnered some big customer wins such as biotech giant Genentech.

In September, research firm reported that one in five businesses use Google Docs, up from only five percent in 2007. The figures do not break out how many companies have standardized or widely deployed the online suite, merely that they are in use.

On the collaboration side, Google gave some examples of how the new storage options could help facilitate teams.

"For example, an architect can share large schematic files with her construction firm, while a P.T.A. member can share large graphic files for posters with other members. You can even add these files to the same shared project folder your team has already been using to collaborate on documents and spreadsheets," Vijay Bangaru, product manager for Google Docs, said in the blog post.

The standard Google Apps suite is free, while Google Apps Premier costs $50 per user/per year. Bangaru said Apps Premier customers will now be able to upload many files at once and sync them with their desktop files in real time using third party applications.

Google's Enterprise Blog describes three programs – Memeo Connect for Google Apps, Syncplicity and Manymoon –that offer various file management, organization or synchronization features.

Google Docs users will be notified at sign-in when the new file storage features are available, the company said.