Microsoft cuts back on unlimited OneDrive storage for consumers

Around one year ago, Microsoft made a very bold announcement: unlimited OneDrive storage for all Office 365 subscribers, consumer plans included. And at that point, OneDrive suddenly became relevant within the cloud storage market. Unfortunately, Microsoft has announced on Monday that OneDrive storage for Office 365 consumer subscriber will go back to the 1 TB threshold.

So Office 365 Home, Personal or University subscribers won’t have unlimited OneDrive storage anymore and the new limit will be 1 TB, just as it was before last year’s announcement. This change takes effect immediately for all subscribers. Users that have a larger amount of data stored on their OneDrive will have one year time to move the exceeding data elsewhere. If users fail to move their exceeding data elsewhere, they will have read-only access to their OneDrive storage for another 6 months. What happens with that data afterwards is still unclear. 

But the bad news for OneDrive users don’t stop here. The free OneDrive storage limit will shrink from 15 GB to just 5 GB. The 15 GB additional bonus for the camera roll will be also discontinued starting early 2016. Also 100 GB and 200 GB OneDrive standalone subscriptions will be replaced with a 50 GB subscription for $1.99.

According to the official Microsoft announcement, this measures were taken since there was a fair amount of users absusing the unlimited storage offer and stored entire movie collections or DVR recordings on thei OneDrive account. Further, Microsoft reiterates that OneDrive is designed for an efficient and seamless collaboration, and not as merely a backup option.

For now, unlimited OneDrive for Business storage seems to be continued, so Office 365 business subscribers will still have unlimited storage space.

This change is disappointing and makes OneDrive totally irrelevant for consumers, since Google Drive offers, for example, 15 GB of free storage. Funny thing is that Google increased its free storage offer specifically to match the OneDrive offer.

On the other side it is really strange that Microsoft doesn’t do anything to retain and reward Microsoft hardware owners, as they get the exact same amount of free OneDrive storage as iOS, Mac OS or Android hardware owners.

Echoes in the media don’t seem to be very favourable to this move from Redmond, and there might be some valid reasons.

Dan Patrascu-Baba

Partner Technical Consultant at Microsoft
Azure PaaS and dev consultant, working for Microsoft. Mostly dealing with Microsoft Azure services, ASP.Net Core, AngularJS, Javascript. Helping partners and customers to write good code and to architect their cloud and hybrid solutions.

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