Microsoft cancels OneDrive unlimited storage offer

November 3, 2015 | 11:39

Tags: #cloud-storage #office-365 #onedrive #skydrive

Companies: #microsoft

Microsoft has announced that it is cancelling its offer of unlimited OneDrive storage to Office 365 users, after too many people took the company at its word.

Formerly known as SkyDrive, until a certain satellite broadcast company raised a stink, OneDrive is central to Microsoft's connected cloud vision of computing. Both its web-based and local productivity suites feature heavy integration with the cloud storage system, and those who opt for the company's Office 365 subscription service get an added bonus of unlimited OneDrive storage for their documents and other data. It's a neat offer, but one which turned out to be unsustainable. The result? It's going away.

According to Microsoft's announcement on the matter, the problem came when users actually believed that 'unlimited storage' meant 'unlimited.' 'Since we started to roll out unlimited cloud storage to Office 365 consumer subscribers, a small number of users backed up numerous PCs and stored entire movie collections and DVR recordings. In some instances, this exceeded 75 TB per user or 14,000 times the average,' Microsoft complained. 'Instead of focusing on extreme backup scenarios, we want to remain focused on delivering high-value productivity and collaboration experiences that benefit the majority of OneDrive users.'

Microsoft's conclusion: unlimited storage is no longer a feature. All Office 365 Home, Personal, and University subscribers will instead be limited to 1TB of OneDrive storage, above which they will have to pay additional fees. The change will also affect newcomers to the service: those without a paid Office 365 subscription and who have signed up for a free OneDrive account will be limited to 5GB, down from the current 15GB. Those using in excess of these amounts will be given a twelve month grace period, after which their account will be locked until it drops below the new storage limits.

'OneDrive has always been designed to be more than basic file storage and backup. These changes are needed to ensure that we can continue to deliver a collaborative, connected, and intelligent service,' claimed Microsoft. 'They will allow us to continue to innovate and make OneDrive the best option for people who want to be productive and do more.'
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