Microsoft announced yesterday that it will make changes to the storage plans of its online file hosting and synchronization service OneDrive and to OneDrive storage given to Office 365 subscribers.
The changes affect existing users of the service as well as future users. Several of the plans provided by OneDrive or other Microsoft services that provide access to OneDrive as a bonus are downgraded.
These changes are necessary according to Microsoft because the system has been abused by a small number of users who used more than 14,000 times the average quote.
In particular, the following changes affect existing OneDrive users:
Many of the changes announced affect existing users as well as new users. Existing users may run into situations where they use more OneDrive storage than their new limits allow them to.
Microsoft notes that it is aware of that, and that it tries to make the transition "as easy as possible for customers".
What does that mean?
What happens if you don't reduce excess storage during the grace period?
For Office 365 subscribers, the following applies:
OneDrive users have two options to comply with the new storage quotes. They may remove files to get below the quota, or, sign-up for the new 50GB plan or Office 365 and get 1TB of storage.
Office 365 subscribers who use more than 1TB of storage can remove files only to comply with the new terms.
OneDrive or Office 365 subscribers may check the status of their storage on this page.
Some questions remain unanswered. For instance, how do locked or deleted accounts affect Windows 10 users?
The new storage quotas pale against what company's like Google offer. Google users can increase storage by 100GB for $1.99 or by 1TB for D9.99 per month. Unlike Microsoft customers, Google customers may sign-up for larger storage options as well.
The free OneDrive offering gets less attractive because of the change as well. Google users get 15GB of free storage while Microsoft customers only 5GB.
I'm puzzled by Microsoft's reasoning for the change. While I can understand that it is not in the best interest of the company to allow users to store unlimited data on company servers, it should have been clear right from the start that this can happen.
What is particularly unclear to me is why the change is affecting free users of the service as the reason Microsoft gives for making the change does not mention free accounts at all.
The change puts Microsoft at a severe disadvantage. Especially the lack of storage plans, the only one being 50GB or an Office 365 subscription to get 1TB, and the lack of options to buy extra storage, need to be mentioned in this regard.
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