Just when I assumed the era of goofy Microsoft business moves was over, they go and do it again. In fact, if this were April 1, I would have thought this a joke. Yesterday Microsoft announced that they were doing away with their unlimited OneDrive storage option. According to Microsoft, some users had abused the “limit” by storing “entire movie collections and DVR recordings”. One user had the gall [gasp] to store up to 75 terabytes of data on their servers.
When a service is unlimited, shouldn’t it really be unlimited?
This is a bizarre move for a company that I thought “finally got it”. Apparently the success of Windows 10 had made Microsoft believe they’ve already won the battle for control over all devices and earned the right to control the direction of cloud users too. At a time when Google, Dropbox, Amazon and others have increased their storage offerings, Microsoft has removed their unlimited storage tier, reduced the free OneDrive storage option for new users from 15 GB to 5 GB, reduced the 100 GB and 200 GB plans to 50 GB, and eliminated their 15 GB bonus for camera roll storage. Assuming Microsoft would like to be a key player in the cloud market, in the long term, Microsoft just shot themselves in the foot – again.
Sadly, this new limitation impacts existing users, even those who pay monthly fees for Office 365 in order to obtain higher storage limits. For those who have already piled up multiple terabytes of data on their OneDrive account, they will be able to keep their increased storage limit for at least a year before the new 1TB cap takes effect.
So sorry guys, as much as I pushed OneDrive as the best one-stop cloud storage option available, I’m afraid that after this bait and switch move, I too have to change my mind. Back to Google Drive for large storage requirements, Amazon for photo and music storage (or with their $59.99 annual plan, possibly for large storage despite their clunky upload/download scheme), and Dropbox for reliability, excellent speed and connectivity. As for OneDrive, all it’s good for now it storage of your office documents (which may be exactly what Microsoft wants). For those with large storage requirements (e.g. geeks), don’t despair, before OneDrive’s one-year grace period expires, I fully expect another cloud player (or two) to step up and trump Microsoft on this one.