June 23, 2014
Microsoft More Than Doubles Free Storage Available For Its One Drive
Peter Suciu for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online
Big data isn't just a buzz word – it is really part of our digital age and anyone who snaps pictures, backs up their files and saves things to the cloud knows that all this data adds up fast. Microsoft looked to address the issue this week by announcing that it will more than double the free storage on its OneDrive cloud service, and will further raise the storage limits that come with its various Office 365 subscriptions.
These new changes will go into effect by the end of July.
"With OneDrive, we want to give you one place for all of your stuff: your photos, videos, documents and other files," Omar Shahine, group program manager for OneDrive.com, wrote on the official OneDrive blog on Monday. "Of course, to do this, we need to make sure you actually have enough storage space for everything, particularly given that the amount of content everyone has is growing by leaps and bounds."
Shahine announced that OneDrive will now offer 15GB for free, even as Microsoft's data indicated that three out of four people now have less than 15GB of files stored on their PC. However, factoring in what these users may have on other devices Microsoft will offer 15GB out of the gate and said there are "no hoops to jump through." This is designed to make it easier for users to have all their documents, videos, photos and other files all in one place.
Microsoft also announced that all versions of Office 365 will now come with 1TB of OneDrive storage.
"For Office 365 Home ($9.99/mo) you’ll get 1 TB per person (up to 5 people), and with Office 365 Personal ($6.99/mo) and University ($79.99/4yr) you will get 1 TB per subscription," Shahine added. "This is a great follow on to our April announcement that all OneDrive for Business customers will get 1 TB of cloud storage per person too."
Microsoft will also drop storage prices by more than 70 percent as a way to increase flexibility for users. The company announced that the new monthly prices will be $1.99 for 100GB, down from $7.49; and $3.99 for 200GB, which was previously $11.49. Shahine wrote in the blog post that all of these updates will take effect in the next month, and current subscribers will automatically be moved to the lower price.
Mashable noted that Google Drive offers similar pricing – $1.99 for 100GB and $9.99 for 1TB – while Google also has partnership deals with Android and Chromebook manufacturers to offer customers bonus storage with a device purchase.
Microsoft's move could also be one to help it make a more compelling business that appeals to its customers and draws in new users.
"Storage isn't super interesting," Angus Logan, Microsoft's head of product management and marketing for OneDrive, said in a statement, as cited by Cnet. "What we build on top of storage is. We're not trying to just be in the storage game where we break even because storage is the only hammer we have to swing," he continued. "But if we can say that we want to deliver productivity across all your devices – and it also comes with cloud storage – then it really changes the game from being focused only on storage."