Google has fired the latest salvo in its ongoing war with Microsoft over cloud services, announcing that its Google Apps for Education customers will now receive a customised Google Drive offering with unlimited data storage.

Google's Apps suite - a cloud-based productivity platform which operates entirely within the web browser - has long been popular with educational users, thanks to centralised administration and a reduced subscription fee. Recently, however, Microsoft has been offering strong competition in the form of the guaranteed Microsoft Office-compatible Office 365 suite and OneDrive storage platform. Google's answer: free, unlimited storage.

'Earlier this year, we introduced Drive for Work — a premium version of Google Apps for Work — and now we’re bringing that same power to schools,' boasted Ben Schrom, project manager for Google Apps for Education, in the announcement. 'Today we’re announcing Drive for Education, an infinitely large, ultra-secure and entirely free bookbag for the 21st century.'

When Google says 'infinitely large,' it doesn't mess around: Drive for Education will offer all users unlimited data storage, with individual file sizes of up to 5TB. The platform also brings across Google Vault, a search and discovery system which aims to make regulatory compliance easier on educational staff - which ties in nicely with Drive for Education's enhanced auditing, which includes the ability to see the activity of a file using a new application programming interfae (API).

'We want educators and students who use Google Apps for Education to be able to focus on the learning experience — not the technology that supports it,' claimed Schrom. 'With Drive for Education, users can put an end to worries about storage limits and more easily maintain a safe, effective and compliant learning environment.'

The features are due to be rolled out over the coming weeks, with all existing and new Google Apps for Education customers to get the new functionality at no extra cost.
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