Microsoft this week announced that it is changing the storage plans for everyone across the board and not for the better. In case you haven’t heard, Microsoft published an article on The OneDrive Blog that lays out changes to the storage plans of OneDrive.
Microsoft Kills OneDrive Unlimited Storage and More
I will just dive right into what’s going on for those of you who haven’t learned about the new OneDrive policy. The changes include the following:
- We’re no longer planning to offer unlimited storage to Office 365 Home, Personal, or University subscribers. Starting now, those subscriptions will include 1 TB of OneDrive storage.
- 100 GB and 200 GB paid plans are going away as an option for new users and will be replaced with a 50 GB plan for $1.99 per month in early 2016.
- Free OneDrive storage will decrease from 15 GB to 5 GB for all users, current and new. The 15 GB camera roll storage bonus will also be discontinued. These changes will start rolling out in early 2016.
We’re taking the following steps to make this transition as easy as possible for customers:
- If you are an Office 365 consumer subscriber and have stored in excess of 1 TB, you will be notified of this change and will be able to keep your increased storage for at least 12 months.
- If you are an Office 365 consumer subscriber and find that Office 365 no longer meets your needs, a pro-rated refund will be given. To learn more visit the FAQ.
- If you are using more than 5 GB of free storage, you will continue to have access to all files for at least 12 months after these changes go into effect in early 2016. In addition, you can redeem a free one-year Office 365 Personal subscription (credit card required), which includes 1 TB of OneDrive storage.
- Current customers of standalone OneDrive storage plans (such as a 100 or 200 GB plans) are not affected by these changes.
Punish Everyone for the Actions of a Few?
Microsoft announced unlimited storage for subscribers of certain Office 365 plans. Well, if you do that, what do you think will happen? A lot of users are going to take you up on it right?
Microsoft continues its explanation on the same post:
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.
So Microsoft is saying that a few users have “abused” the offer by uploading enormous digital media collections. If you say “unlimited storage” I don’t see how that is considered abuse.
But, let’s say for the sake of argument that it is abuse. Why do all Microsoft users get punished across the board?
Personally, I have nowhere near 1 TB of data in my OneDrive, and most users will probably never reach that amount. However, there are those who actually benefited from the storage. I read an article about this by Gregg Keiser on ComputerWorld, and he quotes one user as saying “I do video renderings for work. I take max 3TB online. This is extremely bad for me.”
That’s just one example, but I am certain there are a lot more out there who benefit from the generous storage space to actually get work done.
Another interesting point to all of this is that Microsoft allows you to upload your music collection to OneDrive for playback via Groove Music – free of charge. Allowing that, of course, invites people to upload their collections and some of us have enormous collections of CDs ripped to a lossless format like FLAC which is supported now in Windows 10.
The company is backing off on its free OneDrive storage allotment, too. Previously we covered how new users would get 15 GB of Free storage which is something that really set OneDrive apart from the rest.
I also wrote that with this amount of space, it’s advantageous to set all of your mobile devices to auto-backup your photos to OneDrive. These were good incentives for new people to pick OneDrive over a competitor like Google, Apple, or Dropbox.
Microsoft’s response to a few users going nuts uploading mass amounts of content to OneDrive is ridiculous and punishes us all for the actions of a few. This knee-jerk reaction of trying to fix a problem the company created is quite disappointing.
For those of you who use OneDrive storage space for legitimate reasons and are going to be negatively affected by this new policy, make sure to read the OneDrive Changes FAQ on the options you have.
What is your take on this issue? Leave a comment below and let us know your opinion!