This is a guest post from Larry Dignan of TechRepublic’s sister site ZDNet. You can follow Larry on his ZDNet blog Between the Lines, or subscribe to the RSS feed.

Google cut its pricing for extra storage for its Gmail and Picasa services and in a nutshell you can buy 20 GB of storage for a mere $5 a year. That’s great news and a huge missed opportunity.

Why? I’d love to back up my entire home PC for $5 a year. Instead, Google is only giving me storage for Gmail and photos (Google blog, Techmeme).

Toybox: Google offers 20GB online storage for price of a latte

How big of a missed opportunity is this? It’s potentially huge. With this mythical GDrive idea-just give me a light client that backs up everything to the cloud-Google could convince plenty of users to also become storage subscribers. But as ReadWriteWeb notes, Google is missing the mark.

Consider the following math:

  • I pay $4.95 a month to Mozy, a unit of EMC via Decho, to back up my hard drive.
  • That’s almost $60 a year. And there’s roughly 14 GB backed up.
  • I could eradicate Mozy, a service I’m happy with for $5 a year and Google.

So what’s the hold up? Google will allow you to back up 1 TB of data for $256 a year, but can’t figure out a lightweight desktop client that would back up your entire computer. It just doesn’t make sense.

Click the image to enlarge.

Google is willing to back up all the Gmail and photos you have lying around. Would it kill the company to back up my Word docs and other loose ends too? Thanks for the cheap storage Google, but you may want to think a little bigger.