Microsoft has announced major changes to its OneDrive cloud storage platform, which will eliminate unlimited storage plans and decrease storage space for free users.
Announced on the OneDrive blog, the move was apparently made in response to the ‘small number of users’ who ‘backed up numerous PCs and stored entire movie collections and DVR recordings.’ OneDrive said in some cases, ‘this exceeded 75 TB per user or 14,000 times the average.’
The blog reads:
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.
As such, Microsoft will no long offer unlimited storage to Office 365 Home, Personal or University subscribers. Instead, those subscriptions will be limited to 1 TB of OneDrive storage.
In addition, the 100 GB and 200 GB OneDrive subscription options are being eliminated entirely for new users, and will be replaced by a 50 GB plan priced at $1.99 per month in early 2016. The 100 GB and 200 GB plans will remain for existing users, who will not be affected by these changes.
Finally, free OneDrive storage will decrease from 15 GB to 5 GB for all current and new users. While Microsoft had offered a 15 GB ‘camera roll storage bonus’ to mobile users, this will also be discontinued. These changes will take effect in early 2016.
As part of this transition, Microsoft will notify Office 365 subscribers who have stored more than 1 TB of content about the change, and will allow them to keep their increased storage ‘for at least 12 months.’ If these users decide 1 TB no longer meets their storage needs, they can receive a pro-rated refund for their subscription.
For free users, anyone using more than 5 GB of storage will have access to all of their files for at least 12 months after these changes go into affect. These users can redeem a free one-year Office 365 Personal subscription, which includes 1 TB of OneDrive storage.
Response to the changes on Twitter has been negative.
I’ve used the phrase “Microsoft, punching itself in the face” many times. OneDrive is a new example.
— Paul Thurrott (@thurrott) November 3, 2015
MS was getting too much praise for doing smart things lately. OneDrive said “we can fix that.” — Brandon Paddock (@BrandonLive) November 3, 2015
— Jeremy Huckeba (@LunkwillAndFook) November 3, 2015
Readers: Are you affected by these OneDrive changes?