UPDATE : Unlimited Storage isn’t coming back but Microsoft has apologised and are taking back their words. There are some changes to the already proposed changes. Check at the end of this post for update.
Most cloud storage services are providing more storage per dollar, Microsoft is going backwards. Microsoft is cutting down the amount of space available to you on their OneDrive Storage.
Last year, Microsoft had upgraded their plans for OneDrive which increased the free storage from 5GB to 15GB and Office 365 users were promised Unlimited Storage. OneDrive even reduced their pricing for extra storage by 70%, 100GB costed less than $2.
And now Microsoft claims that a small number of users have started abusing their unlimited storage policy which is forcing them to take this drastic step. Microsoft is cutting down its OneDrive unlimited plans and reducing the amount of storage they provided for other plans. If you’re a Office 365 Home, Personal or University user, your space is now capped back to the old 1TB limit. The current and the new free users will have a reduced free storage from 15GB to 5GB. Paid plans for extra storage have also been reduced.
Microsoft even provided som details about the abuse, Office 365 consumer subscribers backed up numerous PCs and stored entire movie collections and DVR recordings which exceeded 75TB per user which comes to 14,000 times the average consumption of a OneDrive user. Microsoft doesn’t want OneDrive to be used as a backup storage service but rather provided a highly productive and collaborative platform for all the OneDrive users.
To keep Office 365 users happy, Microsoft is making sure the transition is as smooth as possible for everyone. Users who are using more than 1TB will be notified about these changes and will have increased storage for at least 12 months. If you are not satisfied with this and want to discontinue using OneDrive a pro-rated refund will be given.
Free users using more than 5GB storage will have access to all their files for at least 12 months after these changes go into effect, and they can redeem a free one-year Office 365 subscription which includes 1TB of OneDrive Storage.
Customers with 100GB or 200GB plans will not be affected by these changes.
This is a very bold and odd step for Microsoft to take, other cloud storage providers like Google Drive, Amazon, Apple(iCloud), Dropbox etc have been reducing their Storage costs making it more affordable for everyone.
iCloud increased their storage from 20GB to 50GB for the same low cost of $0.99,
Google Drive’s 100GB plan now costs $1.99 instead of $4.99,
The most popular cloud storage service Dropbox increased their offering of 100GB for $9.99 per month to 1TB for the same price,
Amazon Cloud Drive service gives Unlimited Photo Storage for Prime users or one can get it for $59.99/year
Being said that, the Office 365 costs $6.99/month or $69.99/year and provides 1TB of OneDrive storage. This makes its really reasonable compared to the other cloud storage services. Not only you get OneDrive storage but also a bunch of other Office Apps which work really great even on the Web. The only problem is the cost for OneDrive’s additional storage plans of 100GB and above, they are no longer-competitive or reasonable compared to other cloud storage services.
We can only assume Microsoft is worried that with Windows 10’s continuum feature people might misuse or abuse the unlimited storage as they will sync all their Desktop PCs, Laptops, Tablets, Smartphones and Xboxes in one account which could account to a mass number of users using upwards of 1TB easily.
Here are the changes in short :
- We’re no longer planning to offer unlimited storage to Office 365 Home, Personal, or University subscribers. Starting now, those subscriptions will include 1 TB of OneDrive storage.
- 100 GB and 200 GB paid plans are going away as an option for new users and will be replaced with a 50 GB plan for $1.99 per month in early 2016.
- Free OneDrive storage will decrease from 15 GB to 5 GB for all users, current and new. The 15 GB camera roll storage bonus will also be discontinued. These changes will start rolling out in early 2016.
Source : OneDrive Blog
Microsoft realised this change in policy of Unlimited storage has caused a lot of frustration and disappointment, as it directly blamed customers for being irresponsible. Along with apologising for their mistake, improper tone in the post and ill treating their customers, Microsoft will be doing some changes in the proposed policy.
- Office 365 Home, Personal, and University subscriptions will continue to have 1 TB of storage. Any subscriber who received additional storage as part of the unlimited offer will keep it for at least 12 months. For anyone unhappy with the decision to not offer unlimited storage, we will offer a full refund.
- Free users who have over 5GB of content will get one free year of Office 365 Personal, which includes 1TB of storage. Eligible customers will receive an email with redemption information early next year.
- OneDrive users who currently have 15GB of free storage and a 15GB camera roll bonus can preserve that storage by clicking on this link. If you do not opt-in using that link you will lose the bonus storage forever, the link is valid till January 31, 2016.