Microsoft Makes a U-Turn on Its Unlimited Free Storage for Office365 Users: Here’s What’s Changed

Chaitanya Tapase

Although Microsoft wasn’t exactly at the forefront for cloud storage, when it did go big, it did so while making a lot of heads turn. In June 2014, Microsoft increased its storage plans for OneDrive, going from 20 GB to 1 TB for Office 365 subscribers. And now, they’ve announced they’re eliminating the unlimited storage option while reducing storage space for its existing Office 365 subscribers.

Explanation on Rollback: The CMO of Microsoft was recently on Windows Weekly’s podcast to talk about this issue and clarified that “OneDrive take back was a way to anger a bunch of die hard fans particularly in the way we did it. In that case, if anyone would have seen the math, I don’t think they would have questioned the actual economics.”

New changes making you feel like you're barely holding on to Microsoft products?
New changes making you feel like you’re barely holding on to Microsoft products?

A Statement of Mistrust

In their own statement, Microsoft has stated that some users have caused the change of heart in the Redmond company.

…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.

Were they expecting everyone to behave in a predefined way? Didn’t they anticipate any of these deviations? A company like Microsoft that built the Windows OS from scratch and has been a major force in the world of technology for nearly four decades is now worried about storage costs?

Storage Space Changes

Okay, so this is what it boils down to.

  • No more unlimited storage for Office 365 Home, Personal or University subscribers from today. If you are an existing customer on the unlimited storage plan, you will be notified of these changes and will have only 1TB of storage at your disposal. For everything exceeding 1TB, users have 12 months to decide what they want to do with it.
  • The paid plans for 100 GB and 200 GB storage has been shrunk to only 50 GB for the same price, i.e. $1.99 per month.
  • Free OneDrive storage for all users (existing and new) has been reduced to 5 GB from the initial 15 GB. The 15 GB camera roll bonus has been discontinued from today.

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The Impacts

For Office 365 subscribers

  • If you want to discontinue your Office 365 subscription, Microsoft is willing to give you a refund on a pro-rata basis.
  • If you have more than a years subscription for Office 365, you will have access to all your stuff for only one more year starting 2nd November 2015.

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For OneDrive Users

  • If you’re using more than 5 GB of storage on OneDrive, you still have access to these files for 12 months. Beyond that, you will have to look at alternatives like Dropbox, Google Drive or others.
  • If you have a paid subscription for OneDrive (either 100 GB or 200 GB), you aren’t affected. Lucky you!
  • You have a 90-day period to take action for files exceeding these new limits. If you don’t take any action within those 90 days, the files become read-only for 9 months. You can still download them, but not upload anything new.

Quick Tip: Check the Managed Storage page for OneDrive to know how much space you’ve got left on your OneDrive account.

Will You U-Turn Too?

With all these changes, have you lost a bit of trust in Microsoft? Or are you going to show your backs to them completely? Leave a comment and let us know.

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Chaitanya Tapase has varied interests in Technology from Android to Windows to DSLR Photography. On weekends, you'd find him catching up on TV Shows like Game of Thrones and enjoying House Music.